(a) DOE shall publish an NOI in the Federal Register in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7 and containing the elements specified in 40 CFR 1508.22 as soon as practicable after a decision is made to prepare an EIS. However, if there will be a lengthy period of time between its decision to prepare an EIS and the time of actual preparation, DOE may defer publication of the NOI until a reasonable time before preparing the EIS, provided that DOE allows a reasonable opportunity for interested parties to participate in the EIS process. Through the NOI, DOE shall invite comments and suggestions on the scope of the EIS. DOE shall disseminate the NOI in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.6.
(b) If there will be a lengthy delay between the time DOE has decided to prepare an EIS and the beginning of the public scoping process, DOE may publish an Advance NOI in the Federal Register to provide an early opportunity to inform interested parties of the pending EIS or to solicit early public comments. This Advance NOI does not serve as a substitute for the NOI provided for in paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) Publication of the NOI in the Federal Register shall begin the public scoping process. The public scoping process for a DOE EIS shall allow a minimum of 30 days for the receipt of public comments.
(d) DOE shall hold at least one public scoping meeting as part of the public scoping process for a DOE EIS. DOE shall announce the location, date, and time of public scoping meetings in the NOI or by other appropriate means, such as additional notices in the Federal Register, news releases to the local media, or letters to affected parties. Public scoping meetings shall not be held until at least 15 days after public notification. Should DOE change the location, date, or time of a public scoping meeting, or schedule additional public scoping meetings, DOE shall publicize these changes in the Federal Register or in other ways as appropriate.
(e) In determining the scope of the EIS, DOE shall consider all comments received during the announced comment period held as part of the public scoping process. DOE may also consider comments received after the close of the announced comment period.
(f) A public scoping process is optional for DOE supplemental EISs (40 CFR 1502.9(c)(4)). If DOE initiates a public scoping process for a supplemental EIS, the provisions of paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section shall apply.