2016 US Code
Title 42 - The Public Health and Welfare
Chapter 55 - National Environmental Policy
Subchapter IV - Federal Permitting Improvement
Sec. 4370m-4 - Coordination of required reviews

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Citation 42 U.S.C. § 4370m-4 (2016)
Section Name

§4370m–4. Coordination of required reviews

Section Text

(a) Concurrent reviews

To integrate environmental reviews and authorizations, each agency shall, to the maximum extent practicable—

(1) carry out the obligations of the agency with respect to a covered project under any other applicable law concurrently, and in conjunction with, other environmental reviews and authorizations being conducted by other cooperating or participating agencies, including environmental reviews and authorizations required under NEPA, unless the agency determines that doing so would impair the ability of the agency to carry out the statutory obligations of the agency; and

(2) formulate and implement administrative, policy, and procedural mechanisms to enable the agency to ensure completion of the environmental review process in a timely, coordinated, and environmentally responsible manner.

(b) Adoption, incorporation by reference, and use of documents

(1) 1 State environmental documents; supplemental documents

(A) Use of existing documents

(i) In general

On the request of a project sponsor, a lead agency shall consider and, as appropriate, adopt or incorporate by reference, the analysis and documentation that has been prepared for a covered project under State laws and procedures as the documentation, or part of the documentation, required to complete an environmental review for the covered project, if the analysis and documentation were, as determined by the lead agency in consultation with the Council on Environmental Quality, prepared under circumstances that allowed for opportunities for public participation and consideration of alternatives, environmental consequences, and other required analyses that are substantially equivalent to what would have been available had the documents and analysis been prepared by a Federal agency pursuant to NEPA.

(ii) Guidance by CEQ

The Council on Environmental Quality may issue guidance to carry out this subsection.

(B) NEPA obligations

An environmental document adopted under subparagraph (A) or a document that includes documentation incorporated under subparagraph (A) may serve as the documentation required for an environmental review or a supplemental environmental review required to be prepared by a lead agency under NEPA.

(C) Supplementation of State documents

If the lead agency adopts or incorporates analysis and documentation described in subparagraph (A), the lead agency shall prepare and publish a supplemental document if the lead agency determines that during the period after preparation of the analysis and documentation and before the adoption or incorporation—

(i) a significant change has been made to the covered project that is relevant for purposes of environmental review of the project; or

(ii) there has been a significant circumstance or new information has emerged that is relevant to the environmental review for the covered project.

(D) Comments

If a lead agency prepares and publishes a supplemental document under subparagraph (C), the lead agency shall solicit comments from other agencies and the public on the supplemental document for a period of not more than 45 days, beginning on the date on which the supplemental document is published, unless—

(i) the lead agency, the project sponsor, and any cooperating agency agree to a longer deadline; or

(ii) the lead agency extends the deadline for good cause.

(E) Notice of outcome of environmental review

A lead agency shall issue a record of decision or finding of no significant impact, as appropriate, based on the document adopted under subparagraph (A) and any supplemental document prepared under subparagraph (C).

(c) Alternatives analysis

(1) Participation

(A) In general

As early as practicable during the environmental review, but not later than the commencement of scoping for a project requiring the preparation of an environmental impact statement, the lead agency shall engage the cooperating agencies and the public to determine the range of reasonable alternatives to be considered for a covered project.

(B) Determination

The determination under subparagraph (A) shall be completed not later than the completion of scoping.

(2) Range of alternatives

(A) In general

Following participation under paragraph (1) and subject to subparagraph (B), the lead agency shall determine the range of reasonable alternatives for consideration in any document that the lead agency is responsible for preparing for the covered project.

(B) Alternatives required by law

In determining the range of alternatives under subparagraph (A), the lead agency shall include all alternatives required to be considered by law.

(3) Methodologies

(A) In general

The lead agency shall determine, in collaboration with each cooperating agency at appropriate times during the environmental review, the methodologies to be used and the level of detail required in the analysis of each alternative for a covered project.

(B) Environmental review

A cooperating agency shall use the methodologies referred to in subparagraph (A) when conducting any required environmental review, to the extent consistent with existing law.

(4) Preferred alternative

With the concurrence of the cooperating agencies with jurisdiction under Federal law and at the discretion of the lead agency, the preferred alternative for a project, after being identified, may be developed to a higher level of detail than other alternatives to facilitate the development of mitigation measures or concurrent compliance with other applicable laws if the lead agency determines that the development of the higher level of detail will not prevent—

(A) the lead agency from making an impartial decision as to whether to accept another alternative that is being considered in the environmental review; and

(B) the public from commenting on the preferred and other alternatives.

(d) Environmental review comments

(1) Comments on draft environmental impact statement

For comments by an agency or the public on a draft environmental impact statement, the lead agency shall establish a comment period of not less than 45 days and not more than 60 days after the date on which a notice announcing availability of the environmental impact statement is published in the Federal Register, unless—

(A) the lead agency, the project sponsor, and any cooperating agency agree to a longer deadline; or

(B) the lead agency, in consultation with each cooperating agency, extends the deadline for good cause.

(2) Other review and comment periods

For all other review or comment periods in the environmental review process described in parts 1500 through 1508 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations), the lead agency shall establish a comment period of not more than 45 days after the date on which the materials on which comment is requested are made available, unless—

(A) the lead agency, the project sponsor, and any cooperating agency agree to a longer deadline; or

(B) the lead agency extends the deadline for good cause.

(e) Issue identification and resolution

(1) Cooperation

The lead agency and each cooperating and participating agency shall work cooperatively in accordance with this section to identify and resolve issues that could delay completion of an environmental review or an authorization required for the project under applicable law or result in the denial of any approval under applicable law.

(2) Lead agency responsibilities

(A) In general

The lead agency shall make information available to each cooperating and participating agency and project sponsor as early as practicable in the environmental review regarding the environmental, historic, and socioeconomic resources located within the project area and the general locations of the alternatives under consideration.

(B) Sources of information

The information described in subparagraph (A) may be based on existing data sources, including geographic information systems mapping.

(3) Cooperating and participating agency responsibilities

Each cooperating and participating agency shall—

(A) identify, as early as practicable, any issues of concern regarding any potential environmental impacts of the covered project, including any issues that could substantially delay or prevent an agency from completing any environmental review or authorization required for the project; and

(B) communicate any issues described in subparagraph (A) to the project sponsor.

(f) Categories of projects

The authorities granted under this section may be exercised for an individual covered project or a category of covered projects.

Source Credit

(Pub. L. 114–94, div. D, title XLI, §41005, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1755.)

Editorial Notes

REFERENCES IN TEXT

NEPA, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(i), (B), means the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852, which is classified generally to this chapter. See section 4370m(16) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of this title and Tables.

CODIFICATION

Section was enacted as part of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, also known as the FAST Act, and not as part of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 which comprises this chapter.

Footnotes

1 So in original. No par. (2) has been enacted.

Publication Title United States Code, 2012 Edition, Supplement 4, Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
Category Bills and Statutes
Collection United States Code
SuDoc Class Number Y 1.2/5:
Contained Within Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 55 - NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
SUBCHAPTER IV - FEDERAL PERMITTING IMPROVEMENT
Sec. 4370m-4 - Coordination of required reviews
Contains section 4370m-4
Date 2016
Laws In Effect As Of Date January 6, 2017
Positive Law No
Disposition standard
Statutes at Large References 83 Stat. 852
129 Stat. 1755
Public Law References Public Law 91-190, Public Law 114-94
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