(a) This section applies to DOE competitive and limited-source procurements, to awards of financial assistance by a competitive process, and to joint ventures entered into as a result of competitive solicitations, unless the action is categorically excluded from preparation of an EA or EIS under subpart D of this part. Paragraphs (b), (c), and (i) of this section apply as well to DOE sole-source procurements of sites, systems, or processes, to noncompetitive awards of financial assistance, and to sole-source joint ventures, unless the action is categorically excluded from preparation of an EA or EIS under subpart D of this part.
(b) When relevant in DOE's judgment, DOE shall require that offeror's submit environmental data and analyses as a discrete part of the offeror's proposal. DOE shall specify in its solicitation document the type of information and level of detail for environmental data and analyses so required. The data will be limited to those reasonably available to offerors.
(c) DOE shall independently evaluate and verify the accuracy of environmental data and analyses submitted by offerors.
(d) For offers in the competitive range, DOE shall prepare and consider an environmental critique before the selection.
(e) The environmental critique will be subject to the confidentiality requirements of the procurement process.
(f) The environmental critique will evaluate the environmental data and analyses submitted by offerors; it may also evaluate supplemental information developed by DOE as necessary for a reasoned decision.
(g) The environmental critique will focus on environmental issues that are pertinent to a decision on proposals and will include:
(1) A brief discussion of the purpose of the procurement and each offer, including any site, system, or process variations among the offers having environmental implications;
(2) A discussion of the salient characteristics of each offeror's proposed site, system, or process as well as alternative sites, systems, or processes;
(3) A brief comparative evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of the offers, which will address direct and indirect effects, short-term and long-term effects, proposed mitigation measures, adverse effects that cannot be avoided, areas where important environmental information is incomplete and unavailable, unresolved environmental issues and practicable mitigating measures not included in the offeror's proposal; and
(4) To the extent known for each offer, a list of Federal, Tribal, state, and local government permits, licenses, and approvals that must be obtained.
(h) DOE shall prepare a publicly available environmental synopsis, based on the environmental critique, to document the consideration given to environmental factors and to record that the relevant environmental consequences of reasonable alternatives have been evaluated in the selection process. The synopsis will not contain business, confidential, trade secret or other information that DOE otherwise would not disclose pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1905, the confidentiality requirements of the competitive procurement process, 5 U.S.C. 552(b) and 41 U.S.C. 423. To assure compliance with this requirement, the synopsis will not contain data or other information that may in any way reveal the identity of offerors. After a selection has been made, the environmental synopsis shall be filed with EPA, shall be made publicly available, and shall be incorporated in any NEPA document prepared under paragraph (i) of this section.
(i) If an EA or EIS is required, DOE shall prepare, consider and publish the EA or EIS in conformance with the CEQ Regulations and other provisions of this part before taking any action pursuant to the contract or award of financial assistance (except as provided at 40 CFR 1506.1 and § 1021.211 of this part). If the NEPA process is not completed before the award of the contract, financial assistance, or joint venture, then the contract, financial assistance, or joint venture shall be contingent on completion of the NEPA process (except as provided at 40 CFR 1506.1 and § 1021.211 of this part). DOE shall phase subsequent contract work to allow the NEPA review process to be completed in advance of a go/no-go decision.