(a) The provisions of NEPA and the Council for Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) will be applied to determine whether an Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required, or that a categorical exclusion applies.
(1) The lead agency, with cooperation of all appropriate Federal agencies, shall complete an EA or a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) within nine months of the date the SF 299 was filed.
(2) If the lead agency determines, for good cause, that the nine-month period is insufficient, it may extend such period for a reasonable specific time. Notification of the extension, together with the reasons therefore, shall be provided to the applicant and published in the Federal Register at least 30 days prior to the end of the nine-month period.
(3) If the lead agency determines that an EIS is not required, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will be prepared.
(4) If an EIS is determined to be necessary, the lead agency shall hold a public hearing on the joint DEIS in Washington, DC, and at least one location in Alaska.
(5) The appropriate Federal agencies shall solicit and consider the views of other Federal departments and agencies, the Alaska Land Use Council, the State, affected units of local government in the State and affected corporations formed pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. After public notice, the agencies shall receive and consider statements and recommendations regarding the application submitted by interested individuals and organizations.
(6) The lead agency shall ensure compliance with section 810 of ANILCA.
(b) When an EIS is determined to be necessary, within three months of completing the DEIS or within one year of the filing of the application, whichever is later, the lead agency shall complete the EIS and publish a notice of its availability in the Federal Register.
(c) Cost reimbursement.
(1) The costs to the United States of application processing, other than costs for EIS preparation and review as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, shall be reimbursed by the applicant, if such reimbursement is required pursuant to the applicable law and procedures of the appropriate Federal agency incurring the costs.
(2) The reasonable administrative and other costs of EIS preparation shall be reimbursed by the applicant, according to the BLM's cost recovery procedures and regulations implementing section 304 of FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. 1734.