Regulations and Assessments
TITLE 40--PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENT
CHAPTER V--COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY NEPA REGULATIONS
PART 1504 - PREDECISION REFERRALS TO THE COUNCIL OF PROPOSED FEDERAL ACTIONS DETERMINED TO BE ENVIRONMENTALLY UNSATISFACTORY
(a) This part establishes procedures for referring to the Council Federal interagency disagreements concerning proposed major Federal actions that might cause unsatisfactory environmental effects. It provides means for early resolution of such disagreements.
(b) Under section 309 of the Clean Air Act (42 USC 7609), the Administrator
of the Environmental Protection Agency is directed to review and comment publicly
on the environmental impacts of Federal activities, including actions for which
environmental impact statements are prepared. If after this review the Administrator
determines that the matter is "unsatisfactory from the standpoint of public
health or welfare or environmental quality," section 309 directs that the matter
be referred to the Council (hereafter "environmental
(c) Under section 102(2)(C) of the Act other Federal agencies may make similar reviews of environmental impact statements, including judgments on the acceptability of anticipated environmental impacts. These reviews must be made available to the President, the Council and the public.
1504.2 Criteria for referral.
Environmental referrals should be made to the Council only after concerted, timely (as early as possible in the process), but unsuccessful attempts to resolve differences with the lead agency. In determining what environmental objections to the matter are appropriate to refer to the Council, an agency should weigh potential adverse environmental impacts, considering:
1504.3 Procedure for referrals and response.
(a) A Federal agency making the referral to the Council shall:
(b) The referring agency shall deliver its referral to the Council not later than twenty-five (25) days after the final environmental impact statement has been made available to the Environmental Protection Agency, commenting agencies, and the public. Except when an extension of this period has been granted by the lead agency, the Council will not accept a referral after that date.
(c) The referral shall consist of:
(d) Not later than twenty-five (25) days after the referral to the Council the lead agency may deliver a response to the Council, and the referring agency. If the lead agency requests more time and gives assurance that the matter will not go forward in the interim, the Council may grant an extension. The response shall:
(e) Interested persons (including the applicant) may deliver their views in writing to the Council. Views in support of the referral should be delivered not later than the referral. Views in support of the response shall be delivered not later than the response.
(f) Not later than twenty-five (25) days after receipt of both the referral and any response or upon being informed that there will be no response (unless the lead agency agrees to a longer time), the Council may take one or more of the following actions:
(g) The Council shall take no longer than 60 days to complete the actions specified in paragraph (f)(2), (3), or (5) of this section.
(h) When the referral involves an action required by statute to be determined on the record after opportunity for agency hearing, the referral shall be conducted in a manner consistent with 5 U.S.C. 557(d) (Administrative Procedure Act). [§1504.3 amended at 44 FR 873, Jan. 3, 1979]
Last Modified: January 22, 2009