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About the EIS Process for Rulemaking

PREPARATION OF THE EIS

As part of revising the biotechnology regulations, APHIS prepared a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (pEIS) that evaluated the environmental impacts of updating its regulations, as required by National Environmental Policy Act. Programmatic EISs are often prepared for actions that typically involve the agency, an entire program or a substantial program component. These actions are characterized by their broad scope (often nationwide or global) and potential impacts (potentially impacting a wide range of environmental quality values or indicators), and whether or not affected individuals or systems may be completely identified at the time. 

The EIS Process

  • The first step, the publication of a Notice of Intent (NOI) was scoping to determine the principal issues to be considered within the EIS. APHIS opened a 30-day public comment period on June 29, 2018, through July 30, 2018, to receive comments regarding the factors that APHIS should consider in the draft EIS.
  • APHIS then prepared a draft EIS and announced its availability for comment using a Federal Register notice.
  • APHIS then considered the comments on the draft EIS, integrated new information and analysis into the EIS, and prepared a final EIS.
  • The public was notified of the availability of the final EIS, again through a Federal Register notice. No decision on a proposed action can take place until the later of the following dates:  90 days after publication of the notice of the draft EIS or 30 days after the notice of publication of a final EIS.

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