National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Categorical Exclusions, 53033-53039 [2016-18176]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Rules and Regulations DENALI COMMISSION 45 CFR Chapter IX National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Categorical Exclusions Denali Commission. Notice of final NEPA implementation rule. AGENCY: ACTION: This document contains the final Denali Commission policies and procedures for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended. This action is necessary to implement these procedures and make them available to the public on the Commission’s internet site. DATES: Effective September 12, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John Whittington, 907–271–1414. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: General Established by Congress in 1998, the Denali Commission (Commission) is an innovative federal-state partnership designed to provide critical utilities, infrastructure, and economic support throughout Alaska. With the creation of the Commission, Congress acknowledged the need for increased inter-agency cooperation and focus on Alaska’s remote communities. Since its first meeting in April 1999, the Commission is credited with constructing numerous cost-shared infrastructure projects across the State that exemplify effective and efficient partnership between federal and state agencies, and the private sector. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and implementing regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (40 CFR parts 1500–1508) established a broad national policy to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans. The CEQ regulations implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA are designed to ensure that this national policy, environmental considerations, and associated public concerns are given careful attention and appropriate weight in all decisions of the federal government. Sections 102(2) of NEPA and 40 CFR 1505.1 and 1507.3 require VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 federal agencies to develop and, as needed, revise implementing procedures consistent with the CEQ regulations. The Denali Commission is issuing the following NEPA implementing procedures that comply with NEPA and supplement the CEQ regulations. The remaining sections of SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION will provide background. Following the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION is the text of the final procedures. Background In accordance with CEQ regulations (40 CFR 1507.3), the Commission consulted with the CEQ prior to publication of the proposed rule. On August 10, 2004, the Commission published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (69 FR 48435) and invited public comment. The Commission considered the comments received on the 2004 proposed rule. On March 6, 2006, however, the Commission published a document in the Federal Register withdrawing the 2004 proposed rule (71 FR 13563). At the time, the Commission intended to adopt guidelines for implementing NEPA instead of promulgating a final rule. Since that time, however, the Commission concluded that the approach outlined in the 2004 proposed rule was appropriate and issued a revised version of the proposed rule for review and comment in the Federal Register on December 21, 2015 (80 FR 79292) that reflected the Commission’s consideration of and responses to public comments received on the 2004 proposed rule. The final rule published today reflects the Commission’s consideration of and responses to the public comments received on the revised proposed rule. These procedures are final and will be made available to the public in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and on the Commission’s internet site at https:// www.denali.gov. Comments and Responses The Commission received, reviewed and considered one comment on the proposed 2015 rule. The comment, however, was not substantive and no changes were made in response to the comment. Also considered were any substantive changes resulting from consultation with the CEQ. Subpart A—General Section 900.106 Responsibility Denali Commission Paragraph (e) was added to clarify that the Approving Official will be responsible for coordinating comments PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 53033 with cooperating agencies and other federal agencies. Section 900.108 Public Involvement Language was added requiring hard copies of NEPA documents to be provided to local governmental and/or tribal entities in the effected communities. Subpart C—Environmental Assessments Section 900.302 General Considerations in Preparing Environmental Assessments The Commission added language clarifying the process for adoption of other environmental documents and incorporation by reference of other documents into an EA. Paragraphs (c) and (d) were eliminated because they were redundant and paragraph (e) was renumbered as paragraph (c). Section 900.304 Actions Resulting From Assessment Paragraph (c) (Mitigated FONSI) was added to clarify the distinction between a mitigated FONSI and accepting a proposal with modifications (paragraph (b)). Subpart D—Environmental Impact Statements Section 900.405 Proposals Normally Requiring an EIS The Commission identified large scale infrastructure construction projects such as the relocation of an entire community as projects normally requiring an EIS. List of Subjects in 45 CFR Part 900 Administrative practice and procedure, Environmental impact statements, Environmental protection. For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Denali Commission is adding chapter IX, consisting of parts 900 through 999, to title 45 of the CFR to read as follows: CHAPTER IX—Denali Commission PART 900—NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT IMPLEMENTING PROCEDURES PARTS 901–999 [RESERVED] PART 900—NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT IMPLEMENTING PROCEDURES Subpart A—General Sec. 900.101 Purpose. 900.102 Environmental policy. 900.103 Terms and abbreviations. 900.104 Federal and intergovernmental relationships. E:\FR\FM\11AUR1.SGM 11AUR1 53034 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 900.105 Applicant responsibility. 900.106 Denali Commission responsibility. 900.107 Role of lead and cooperating agencies. 900.108 Public involvement. Subpart B—Environmental Review Procedures 900.201 Environmental review process. 900.202 Emergency actions. 900.203 Determination of federal actions. 900.204 Categorical exclusions. 900.205 Environmental assessment. 900.206 Environmental impact statement. 900.207 Programmatic environmental reviews. Subpart C—Environmental Assessments 900.301 Content. 900.302 General considerations in preparing environmental assessments. 900.303 Public involvement. 900.304 Actions resulting from assessment. 900.305 Findings of no significant impact. 900.306 Proposals normally requiring an EA. Subpart D—Environmental Impact Statements 900.401 Notice of intent and scoping. 900.402 Preparation and filing of draft and final EISs. 900.403 Supplemental EIS. 900.404 Adoption. 900.405 Proposals normally requiring an EIS. Appendix A to Part 900—Categorical Exclusions Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3121, 4321; 40 CFR parts 1500 through1508. Subpart A—General § 900.101 Purpose. This regulation prescribes the policies and procedures of the Denali Commission (Commission) for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321– 4347) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508). This regulation also addresses other related federal environmental laws, statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders that apply to Commission actions. This part adopts, supplements, and is to be used in conjunction with, 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, consistent with 40 CFR 1507.3. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES § 900.102 Environmental policy. It is the policy of the Commission to: (a) Comply with the procedures and policies of NEPA and other related environmental laws, regulations, and orders applicable to Commission actions; (b) Provide guidance to applicants responsible for ensuring that proposals VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 comply with all appropriate Commission requirements; (c) Integrate NEPA requirements and other planning and environmental review procedures required by law or Commission practice so that all such procedures run concurrently rather than consecutively; (d) Encourage and facilitate public involvement in Commission decisions that affect the quality of the human environment; (e) Use the NEPA process to identify and assess reasonable alternatives to proposed Commission actions to avoid or minimize adverse effects upon the quality of the human environment; (f) Use all practicable means consistent with NEPA and other essential considerations of national policy to restore or enhance the quality of the human environment and avoid, minimize, or otherwise mitigate any possible adverse effects of the Commission’s actions upon the quality of the human environment; and (g) Consider and give important weight to factors including customary and traditional uses of resources, recreation, and the objectives of Federal, regional, State, local and tribal land use plans, policies, and controls for the area concerned in developing proposals and making decisions in order to achieve a proper balance between the development and utilization of natural, cultural and human resources and the protection and enhancement of environmental quality (see NEPA section 101 and 40 CFR 1508.14). In particular the Commission will consider potential effects on subsistence activities, which are critically important to the daily existence of Alaska Native villages. § 900.103 Terms and abbreviations. (a) For the purposes of this part, the definitions in the CEQ Regulations, 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, are adopted and supplemented as set out in paragraphs (a)(1) through (5) of this section. In the event of a conflict the CEQ Regulations apply. (1) Action. Action and Federal action as defined in 40 CFR 1508.18, include projects, programs, plans, or policies, subject to the Commission’s control and responsibility. (2) Applicant. The federal, state, local government or non-governmental partner or organization applying to the Commission for financial assistance or other approval. An applicant may also be a partner organization in receipt of award funds. (3) Approving Official. The Denali Commission staff member designated by the Federal Co-Chair or his/her designee PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 to fulfill the responsibilities defined in § 900.106, including overseeing development of and approval of the NEPA document. (4) Commission proposal (or proposal). A proposal, as defined at 40 CFR 1508.23, is a Commission proposal whether initiated by the Commission, another federal agency, or an applicant. (5) Federal Co-Chair. One of the seven members of the Commission, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, as defined in the Denali Commission Act of 1998, 42 U.S.C. 3121, Public Law 105–277. (b) The following abbreviations are used throughout this part: (1) CATEX—Categorical exclusions; (2) CEQ—Council on Environmental Quality; (3) EA—Environmental assessment; (4) EIS—Environmental impact statement; (5) FONSI—Finding of no significant impact; (6) NEPA—National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended; (7) NOI—Notice of intent; and (8) ROD—Record of decision. § 900.104 Federal and intergovernmental relationships. The Denali Commission was created to deliver the services of the federal government in the most cost-effective manner practicable. In order to reduce administrative and overhead costs, the Commission partners with federal, state and local agencies and Alaska Native villages and commonly depends on these governmental agencies for project management. Consequently, the Commission generally relies on the expertise and processes already in use by partnering agencies to help prepare Commission NEPA analyses and documents. (a) With federal partners, the Commission will work as either a joint lead agency (40 CFR 1501.5 and 1508.16) or cooperating agency (40 CFR 1501.6 and 1508.5). The Commission may invite other Federal agencies to serve as the lead agency, a joint lead agency, or as a cooperating agency. (b) Consistent with 40 CFR 1508.5, the Commission will typically invite Alaska Native villages and state and local government partners to serve as cooperating agencies. (c) Requests for the Commission to serve as a lead agency (40 CFR 1501.5(d)), for CEQ to determine which Federal agency shall be the lead agency (40 CFR 1501.5(e)), or for the Commission to serve as a cooperating agency (40 CFR 1501.6(a)(1)) shall be mailed to the Commission office. E:\FR\FM\11AUR1.SGM 11AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Rules and Regulations § 900.105 Applicant responsibility. (a) Applicants shall work under Commission direction provided by the Approving Official, and assist the Commission in fulfilling its NEPA obligations by preparing NEPA analyses and documents that comply with the provisions of NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321– 4347), the CEQ Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508), and the requirements set forth in this part. (b) Applicants shall follow Commission direction when they assist the Commission with the following responsibilities, among others: (1) Prepare and disseminate applicable environmental documentation concurrent with a proposal’s engineering, planning, and design; (2) Create and distribute public notices; (3) Coordinate public hearings and meetings as required; (4) Submit all environmental documents created pursuant to this part to the Commission for review and approval before public distribution; (5) Participate in all Commissionconducted hearings or meetings; (6) Consult with the Commission prior to obtaining the services of an environmental consultant; in the case that an EIS is required, the consultant or contractor will be selected by the Commission; and (7) Implement mitigation measures included as voluntary commitments by the applicant or as requirements of the applicant in environmental documents. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES § 900.106 Denali Commission responsibility. (a) The Federal Co-Chair or his/her designee shall designate an Approving Official for each Commission proposal, and shall provide environmental guidance to the Approving Official; (b) The Approving Official shall provide direction and guidance to the applicant as well as identification and development of required analyses and documentation; (c) The Approving Official shall make an independent evaluation of the environmental issues, take responsibility for the scope and content of the environmental document (EA or EIS), and make the environmental finding; (d) The Approving Official shall ensure mitigation measures included in environmental documents are implemented; and (e) The Approving official shall be responsible for coordinating communications with cooperating agencies and other federal agencies. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 § 900.107 Role of lead and cooperating agencies. In accordance with § 900.104, the Commission may defer the lead agency role to other federal agencies in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.5, and the Commission will then exercise its role as either a joint lead or a cooperating agency in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.6. § 900.108 Public involvement. (a) When public involvement is required pursuant to subparts C and D of this part, interested persons and the affected public shall be provided notice of the availability of environmental documents, NEPA-related hearings, and public meetings. Such notice will be made on the Commission Web site and other means such that the community is notified (e.g., community postings, newspaper, radio or television). (b) Applicants shall assist the Commission in providing the opportunity for public participation and considering the public comments on the proposal as described in subparts C and D of this part. (c) Interested persons can obtain information or status reports on EISs and other elements of the NEPA process from the Commission’s office at 510 L Street, Suite 410; Anchorage, Alaska 99501; or on the Commission Web site at http://www.denali.gov. Telephone: (907) 271–1414. The Commission will provide hard copies of NEPA documents to governmental and/or tribal entities in the affected communities. (d) In the interests of national security or the public health, safety, or welfare, the Commission may reduce any time periods that the Commission has established and that are not required by the CEQ Regulations. The Commission shall publish a notice on the Web site at http://www.denali.gov and notify interested parties (see 40 CFR 1506.6) specifying the revised time periods for the proposed action and the rationale for the reduction. Subpart B—Environmental Review Procedures § 900.201 Environmental review process. (a) General. The environmental review process is the investigation of potential environmental impacts to determine the environmental process to be followed and to assist in the preparation of the environmental document. (b) Early coordination. Applicants will contact the Commission and work with the Approving Official to begin the environmental review process as soon PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 53035 as Denali Commission assistance is projected. Environmental issues shall be identified and considered early in the proposal planning process. A systematic, interdisciplinary approach that includes community involvement and intergovernmental coordination to expand the potential sources of information and identify areas of concern will be used. Environmental permits and other forms of approval, concurrence, or consultation may be required. The planning process shall include permitting and other review processes to ensure that necessary information will be collected and provided to permitting and reviewing agencies in a timely manner. § 900.202 Emergency actions. (a) General. Emergency circumstances may require immediate actions that preclude following standard NEPA processes. The Council shall limit alternative arrangements to those actions that are necessary to control the immediate impacts of the emergency. In the event of emergency circumstances, the Approving Official should coordinate with the Federal Co-Chair as soon as practicable. Immediate emergency actions necessary to protect the lives and safety of the public or prevent adverse impacts to ecological resources and functions should never be delayed in order to comply with these NEPA procedures. Alternative arrangements for NEPA compliance are permitted for emergency actions pursuant to paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section. (b) Categorical exclusion (CATEX). When emergency circumstances make it necessary to determine whether an extraordinary circumstance would preclude the use of a CATEX, the Approving Official shall make the determination as soon as practicable. If an extraordinary circumstance exists, the Approving Official shall comply with paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, as applicable. (c) Environmental assessment (EA). When emergency circumstances make it necessary to take an action that requires an EA before the EA can be completed, the Approving Official will consult with the Federal Co-Chair to develop alternative arrangements to meet the requirements of these NEPA implementing procedures and CEQ Regulations pertaining to EAs. Alternative arrangements should focus on minimizing adverse environmental impacts of the proposed action and the emergency. To the maximum extent practicable, these alternative arrangements should include the content, interagency coordination, and E:\FR\FM\11AUR1.SGM 11AUR1 53036 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Rules and Regulations public notification and involvement that would normally be undertaken for an EA for the action at issue and cannot alter the requirements of the CEQ Regulations at 40 CFR 1508.9(a)(1) and (b). The Federal Co-Chair may grant an alternative arrangement. Any alternative arrangement shall be documented. The Federal Co-Chair will inform CEQ of the alternative arrangements at the earliest opportunity. (d) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Where emergency circumstances make it necessary to take actions with significant environmental impacts without observing other provisions of these NEPA implementing procedures and the CEQ Regulations (see 40 CFR 1506.11) the Federal Co-Chair may consult with CEQ about alternative arrangements for implementation of NEPA. In these situations, the Commission may reduce processing times or, if the emergency situation warrants, abbreviate its preparation and processing of EISs. Any request for alternative arrangements must be submitted by the Federal Co-Chair to CEQ and notice of a potential request should be provided to CEQ at the earliest opportunity. For projects undertaken by an applicant, the Approving Official will inform the Federal Co-Chair about the emergency. The Federal Co-Chair will consult CEQ requesting the alternative arrangements for complying with NEPA. § 900.203 Determination of federal actions. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES (a) The Commission shall determine whether any Commission proposal: (1) Is categorically excluded from preparation of either an EA or an EIS; (2) Requires preparation of an EA; or (3) Requires preparation of an EIS. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the Commission may prepare a NEPA document to assist any Commission action at any time in order to further the purposes of NEPA. This NEPA document may be done to analyze the consequences of ongoing Commission activities, to support Commission planning, to assess the need for mitigation, to disclose fully the potential environmental consequences of Commission actions, or for any other reason. Documents prepared under this paragraph shall be prepared in the same manner as Commission documents prepared under this part. § 900.204 Categorical exclusions. (a) General. A categorical exclusion (CATEX) is defined in 40 CFR 1508.4 as a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and, for which in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 absence of extraordinary circumstances or sensitive resources, neither an EA nor an EIS is required. Actions that meet the conditions in paragraph (b) of this section and are listed in section A of appendix A of this part can be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS. Actions that meet the screening conditions in paragraph (b) of this section and are listed in section B of appendix A require satisfactory completion of a Denali Commission CATEX checklist in order to be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS. (b) Conditions. The following three conditions must be met for an action to be categorically excluded from further analysis in an EA or EIS. (1) The action has not been segmented (too narrowly defined or broken down into small parts in order minimize its potential effects and avoid a higher level of NEPA review) and its scope includes the consideration of connected actions and, when evaluating extraordinary circumstances, cumulative impacts. (2) No extraordinary circumstances described in paragraph (c) of this section exist, unless resolved through other regulatory means. (3) One categorical exclusion described in either section of appendix A of this part encompasses the proposed action. (c) Extraordinary circumstances. Any action that normally would be classified as a CATEX but could involve extraordinary circumstances will require appropriate environmental review documented in a Denali Commission CATEX checklist to determine if the CATEX classification is proper or if an EA or EIS should be prepared. Extraordinary circumstances to be considered include those likely to: (1) Have a reasonable likelihood of significant impacts on public health, public safety, or the environment; (2) Have effects on the environment that are likely to be highly controversial or involve unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources; (3) Have possible effects on the human environment that are highly uncertain, involve unique or unknown risks, or are scientifically controversial; (4) Establish a precedent for future action or represent a decision in principle about future actions with potentially significant environmental effects; (5) Relate to other actions with individually insignificant but cumulatively significant environmental effects; PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (6) Have a greater scope or size than is normal for the category of action; (7) Have the potential to degrade already existing poor environmental conditions or to initiate a degrading influence, activity, or effect in areas not already significantly modified from their natural condition; (8) Have a disproportionately high and adverse effect on low income or minority populations (see Executive Order 12898); (9) Limit access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites on federal lands by Indian religious practitioners or adversely affect the physical integrity of such sacred sites (see Executive Order 13007); (10) Threaten a violation of a federal, tribal, state or local law or requirement imposed for the protection of the environment; (11) Have a reasonable likelihood of significant impact to subsistence activities; or (12) Have a reasonable likelihood of significant impacts on environmentally sensitive resources, such as: (i) Properties listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places; (ii) Species listed, or proposed to be listed, on the List of Endangered or Threatened Species, or their habitat; or (iii) Natural resources and unique geographic characteristics such as historic or cultural resources; park, recreation or refuge lands; wilderness areas; wild or scenic rivers; national natural landmarks; sole or principal drinking water aquifers; prime farmlands; special aquatic sites (defined under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act); floodplains; national monuments; and other ecologically significant or critical areas. § 900.205 Environmental assessment. (a) An EA is required for all proposals, except those exempt from NEPA or categorically excluded under this part, and those requiring or determined to require an EIS. EAs provide sufficient evidence and analysis to determine whether to prepare an EIS or a finding of no significant impact (FONSI). (b) In addition, an EA may be prepared on any action at any time in order to assist in planning and decision making, to aid in the Commission’s compliance with NEPA when no EIS is necessary, or to facilitate EIS preparation. (c) EAs shall be prepared in accordance with subpart C of this part and shall contain analyses to support conclusions regarding environmental impacts. If a FONSI is proposed, it shall E:\FR\FM\11AUR1.SGM 11AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Rules and Regulations limited to the minimum needed to determine the significance of potential environmental effects. be prepared in accordance with § 900.305. § 900.206 Environmental impact statement. An EIS is required when the project is determined to have a potentially significant impact on the human environment. EISs shall be prepared in accordance with subpart D of this part. § 900.207 reviews. Programmatic environmental (a) A programmatic NEPA review is used to assess the environmental impacts of a proposed action that is broad in reach, such as a program, plan, or policy (see 40 CFR 1502.4). Analyses of subsequent actions that fall within the program, plan, or policy may be tiered to the programmatic review, as described in 40 CFR 1502.20 and 1508.28. (b) Programmatic NEPA reviews may take the form of a programmatic EA or a programmatic EIS. (c) A programmatic EA shall meet all of the requirements for EAs in subpart C of this part, including those for content and public involvement. In order to adopt a programmatic EA prepared by another agency that did not provide the same public involvement opportunities as the Commission, the Commission shall provide notice of the availability of the programmatic EA and make it available for public comment consistent with § 900.303(b) and (c) before adopting it. (d) A programmatic EIS shall meet all of the requirements for EISs in subpart D of this part and in 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508. Subpart C—Environmental Assessments sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES § 900.301 Content. (a) An EA shall include brief discussions of the need for the proposal; of alternatives to the proposal as required by NEPA section 102(2)(E); and of the environmental impacts of the proposal and alternatives. The EA shall also include a listing of agencies and persons consulted in the preparation of the EA. (b) An EA may describe a broad range of alternatives and proposed mitigation measures to facilitate planning and decisionmaking. (c) The EA should also document compliance, to the extent possible, with all applicable environmental laws and Executive Orders, or provide reasonable assurance that those requirements can be met. (d) The EA should be a concise public document. The level of detail and depth of impact analysis will normally be VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 § 900.302 General considerations in preparing environmental assessments. (a) Adoption of an EA. The Commission may adopt an EA prepared for a proposal before the Commission by another agency or an applicant when the EA, or a portion thereof, addresses the proposed Commission action and meets the standards for an adequate analysis under this part and relevant provisions of 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, provided that the Commission makes its own evaluation of the environmental issues and takes responsibility for the scope and content of the EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.5(b). (b) Incorporation by reference into the EA. Any document may be incorporated by reference in accordance with 40 CFR 1502.21 and used in preparing an EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.4(e) and 1506.5(a), provided that the Commission makes its own evaluation of the environmental issues and takes responsibility for the scope and content of the EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.5(b). § 900.303 Public involvement. (a) Commission approval is required before an EA is made available to the public and the notice of availability is published. (b) The public shall be provided notice of the availability of EAs and draft FONSIs in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.6 and § 900.108(a) by the Approving Official. The Approving Official is responsible for making the EA available for public inspection and will provide hard copies on request to the affected units of Alaska Native/ American Indian tribal organizations and/or local government. (c) EAs and draft FONSIs will be available for public comment for not less than 15 calendar days but may be published for a longer period of time as determined by the Approving Official. (d) Final Commission action will be taken after public comments received on an EA and draft FONSI are reviewed and considered. § 900.304 Actions resulting from assessment. (a) Accepted without modification. The Commission may accept a proposal without modifications if the EA indicates that the proposal does not have significant environmental impacts and a FONSI is prepared in accordance with § 900.305. (b) Accepted with modification. If an EA identifies potentially significant PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 53037 environmental impacts, the proposal may be modified to eliminate such impacts. Proposals so modified may be accepted by the Commission if the proposed changes are evaluated in an EA and a FONSI is prepared in accordance with § 900.305. (c) Mitigated FONSI. If mitigation is required to reduce the impacts below significant the FONSI shall identify the mitigation and describe applicable monitoring and enforcement measures intended to ensure the implementation of the mitigation measures. (d) Prepare an EIS. The Commission shall require that the proposal be evaluated in an EIS, prepared in accordance with subpart D to this part, if the EA indicates significant environmental impacts that cannot be mitigated below a specified level of significance. (e) Rejected. The Commission may always elect to reject a proposal. § 900.305 impact. Findings of no significant (a) Definition. Finding of no significant impact (FONSI) means a document by the Commission briefly presenting the reasons why an action, not otherwise excluded as provided in § 900.204, will not have a significant impact on the human environment and for which an EIS will not be prepared. (b) Applicant responsibility. The applicant shall assist the Commission with preparing the EA. The Commission remains responsible for compiling the public hearing summary or minutes, where applicable; and copies of any written comments received and responses thereto. (c) Content. A FONSI shall include the EA or a summary of it and shall note any other environmental documents related to it (40 CFR 1501.7(a)(5)). If the assessment is included, the finding need not repeat any of the discussion in the assessment but may incorporate it by reference. (d) Publication. The Commission shall make the final FONSI available to the public on the Commission Web site. (e) Special circumstances. The FONSI notice of availability will be made available for public review (including State and areawide clearinghouses) for 30 days before the Commission makes its final determination whether to prepare an environmental impact statement and before the action may begin (40 CFR 1501.4(e)(2)) where: (1) The proposed action is, or is closely similar to, one which normally requires the preparation of an environmental impact statement under § 900.405; or E:\FR\FM\11AUR1.SGM 11AUR1 53038 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (2) The nature of the proposed action is one without precedent. § 900.306 EA. Proposals normally requiring an Proposals that normally require preparation of an EA include the following: (a) Initial field demonstration of a new technology; and (b) Field trials of a new product or new uses of an existing technology. Subpart D—Environmental Impact Statements § 900.401 Notice of intent and scoping. (a) The Commission shall publish a NOI, as described in 40 CFR 1508.22, in the Federal Register as soon as practicable after a decision is made to prepare an EIS, in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7. If there will be a lengthy period of time between the Commission’s decision to prepare an EIS and its actual preparation, the Commission may defer publication of the NOI until a reasonable time before preparing the EIS, provided that the Commission allows a reasonable opportunity for interested parties to participate in the EIS process. Consistent with § 900.201(b), the Commission and the applicant will coordinate during the time period prior to the publication of the NOI to identify: the scope of the action, potential modifications to the proposal, potential alternatives, environmental constraints, potential timeframes for the environmental review, and federal, state, or tribal entities that could be interested in the project, including those with the potential to become cooperating agencies. Through the NOI, the Commission shall invite comments and suggestions on the scope of the EIS. (b) Publication of the NOI in the Federal Register shall begin the public scoping process. The public scoping process for a Commission EIS shall allow a minimum of 30 days for the receipt of public comments. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES § 900.402 Preparation and filing of draft and final EISs. (a) General. Except for proposals for legislation as provided for in 40 CFR 1506.8, EISs shall be prepared in two stages and may be supplemented. (b) Format. The EIS format recommended by 40 CFR 1502.10 shall be used unless a determination is made on a particular project that there is a compelling reason to do otherwise. In such a case, the EIS format must meet the minimum requirements prescribed in 40 CFR 1502.10, as further described in 40 CFR 1502.11 through 1502.18. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 (c) Applicant role. The draft or final EIS shall be prepared by the Commission with assistance from the applicant under appropriate guidance and direction from the Approving Official. (d) Third-party consultants. A thirdparty consultant selected by the Commission or in cooperation with a cooperating agency may prepare the draft or final EIS. (e) Commission responsibility. The Commission shall provide a schedule with time limits, guidance, participate in the preparation, independently evaluate, and take responsibility for the content of the draft and final EIS. (f) Filing. After a draft or final EIS has been prepared, the Commission shall file the EIS with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA will publish a notice of availability in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.9 and 1506.10. (g) Draft to final EIS. When a final EIS does not require substantial changes from the draft EIS, the Commission may document required changes in errata sheets, insertion pages, and revised sections. The Commission will then circulate such changes together with comments on the draft EIS, responses to comments, and other appropriate information as its final EIS. The Commission will not circulate the draft EIS again; however, the Commission will post the EIS on its Web site and provide the draft EIS if requested. (h) Record of decision. A record of decision (ROD) will be prepared in accordance with 40 CFR 1505.2. § 900.403 Supplemental EIS. (a) Supplements to either draft or final EISs shall be prepared, as prescribed in 40 CFR 1502.9, when the Commission finds that there are substantial changes are proposed in a project that are relevant to environmental concerns; or when there are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts. (b) Where Commission action remains to be taken and the EIS is more than three years old, the Commission will review the EIS to determine whether it is adequate or requires supplementation. (c) The Commission shall prepare, circulate and file a supplement to an EIS in the same fashion (exclusive of scoping) as a draft and final EIS. In addition, the supplement and accompanying administrative record shall be included in the administrative record for the proposal. When an applicant is involved, the applicant PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 shall, under the direction of the approving official, provide assistance. (d) An NOI to prepare a supplement to a final EIS will be published in those cases where a ROD has already been issued. § 900.404 Adoption. (a) The Commission may adopt a draft or final EIS or portion thereof (see 40 CFR 1506.3), including a programmatic EIS, prepared by another agency. (b) If the actions covered by the original EIS and the proposal are substantially the same, the Commission shall recirculate it as a final statement. Otherwise, the Commission shall treat the statement as a draft and recirculate it except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section. (c) Where the Commission is a cooperating agency, it may adopt the EIS of the lead agency without recirculating it when, after an independent review of the EIS, the Commission concludes that its comments and suggestions have been satisfied. (d) When the Commission adopts an EIS which is not final within the agency that prepared it, or when the action it assesses is the subject of a referral under 40 CFR part 1504, or when the EIS’s adequacy is the subject of a judicial action which is not final, the Commission shall so specify. § 900.405 EIS. Proposals normally requiring an An EIS will normally be required for: (a) Large scale infrastructure construction efforts such as the relocation of an entire community; (b) A project that requires a formal consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act; or (c) Where implementation of the proposal may directly cause or induce changes that significantly: (1) Displace population; (2) Alter the character of existing residential areas; or (3) Adversely affect a floodplain. Appendix A to Part 900—Categorical Exclusions A. General Categorical Exclusions Actions consistent with any of the following categories are, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, categorically excluded from further analysis in an EA or EIS: A1. Routine administrative and management activities including, but not limited to, those activities related to budgeting, finance, personnel actions, procurement activities, compliance with applicable executive orders and procedures for sustainable or ‘‘greened’’ procurement, retaining legal counsel, public affairs E:\FR\FM\11AUR1.SGM 11AUR1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 155 / Thursday, August 11, 2016 / Rules and Regulations activities (e.g., issuing press releases, newsletters and notices of funding availability), internal and external program evaluation and monitoring (e.g., site visits), database development and maintenance, and computer systems administration. A2. Routine activities that the Commission does to support its program partners and stakeholders, such as serving on task forces, ad hoc committees or representing Commission interests in other forums. A3. Approving and issuing grants for administrative overhead support. A4. Approving and issuing grants for social services, education and training programs, including but not limited to support for Head Start, senior citizen programs, drug treatment programs, and funding internships, except for projects involving construction, renovation, or changes in land use. A5. Approving and issuing grants for facility planning and design. A6. Nondestructive data collection, inventory, study, research, and monitoring activities (e.g., field, aerial and satellite surveying and mapping). A7. Research, planning grants and technical assistance projects that are not reasonably expected to commit the federal government to a course of action, to result in legislative proposals, or to result in direct development. A8. Acquisition and installation of equipment including, but not limited to, EMS, emergency and non-expendable medical equipment (e.g., digital imaging devices and dental equipment), and communications equipment (e.g., computer upgrades). B. Program Categorical Exclusions Actions consistent with any of the following categories are, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS upon completion of the Denali Commission CATEX checklist: B1. Upgrade, repair, maintenance, replacement, or minor renovations and additions to buildings, roads, harbors and other maritime facilities, grounds, equipment, and other facilities, including but not limited to, roof replacement, foundation repair, ADA access ramp and door improvements, weatherization and energy efficiency related improvements, HVAC renovations, painting, floor system replacement, repaving parking lots and ground maintenance, that do not result in a change in the functional use of the real property. B2. Engineering studies and investigations that do not permanently change the environment. B3. Construction or lease of new infrastructure including, but not limited to, health care facilities, community buildings, housing, and bulk fuel storage and power generation plants, where such lease or construction: (a) Is at the site of existing infrastructure and capacity is not substantially increased; or (b) Is for infrastructure of less than 12,000 square feet of useable space when less than two aces of surface land area are involved at a new site. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Aug 10, 2016 Jkt 238001 53039 B4. Construction or modification of electric power stations or interconnection facilities (including, but not limited to, switching stations and support facilities). B5. Construction of electric powerlines approximately ten miles in length or less, or approximately 20 miles in length or less within previously disturbed or developed powerline or pipeline rights-of-way. B6. Upgrading or rebuilding approximately twenty miles in length or less of existing electric powerlines, which may involve minor relocations of small segments or the powerlines. B7. Demolition, disposal, or improvements involving buildings or structures when done in accordance with applicable regulations, including those regulations applying to removal of asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other hazardous materials. Synopsis of the Order PARTS 901–999 [RESERVED] 2. The EAS is a national public warning system through which broadcasters, cable systems, and other EAS Participants deliver alerts to the public to warn them of impending emergencies and dangers to life and property. The primary purpose of the EAS is to provide the President with ‘‘the capability to provide immediate communications and information to the general public at the national, state and local levels during periods of national emergency.’’ The EAS also is used by state and local governments, as well as the NWS, to distribute alerts. According to NWS, about 90 percent of all EAS activations are generated by NWS and relate to short-term weather events. The Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and NWS implement the EAS at the federal level. The EAS is a broadcast-based, hierarchical alert message distribution system through which an alert message originator at the local, state or national level encodes (or arranges to have encoded) a message in the EAS Protocol, which provides basic information about the emergency involved. The message is then broadcast by one or more EAS Participants and subsequently relayed from one station to another until all affected EAS Participants have received the alert and delivered it to the public. This process of EAS alert distribution among EAS Participants is often referred to as the ‘‘daisy chain’’ distribution architecture. 3. The EAS Protocol utilizes fixed codes to identify various aspects of the alert. Of particular relevance to the Order, the EAS Protocol utilizes a threecharacter ‘‘event code’’ to describe the nature of the alert (e.g., ‘‘TOR’’ signifies tornado). The EAS Protocol identifies ‘‘National’’ event codes, such as the EAN and National Periodic Test (NPT), which EAS Participants use as part of required Presidential alerts and tests, Dated: July 6, 2016. Joel Neimeyer, Federal Co-Chair. [FR Doc. 2016–18176 Filed 8–10–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 11 [PS Docket No. 15–94; FCC 16–80] Amendment of the Emergency Alert System Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) revises its rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to add three new EAS event codes, covering extreme wind and storm surges, as well as revise the territorial boundaries of the geographic location codes for two offshore marine areas. DATES: Effective September 12, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Fowlkes, Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418–7452, or by email at Lisa.Fowlkes@fcc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission’s Order (Order) in PS Docket No. 15–94, FCC 16–80, adopted on July 6, 2016, and released on July 11, 2016. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY–A257), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 1. The Order revises the Part 11 EAS rules to add three new EAS event codes, covering extreme wind and storm surges, as well as revise the territorial boundaries of the geographic location codes for two offshore marine areas. The Commission initiated this proceeding in response to a request from the National Weather Service (NWS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that the Commission adopt these revisions to harmonize the EAS with the NWS’s weather radio system. Virtually all commenters addressing these revisions supported their adoption. I. Background E:\FR\FM\11AUR1.SGM 11AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 155 (Thursday, August 11, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 53033-53039]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-18176]



[[Page 53033]]

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DENALI COMMISSION

45 CFR Chapter IX


National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and 
Categorical Exclusions

AGENCY: Denali Commission.

ACTION: Notice of final NEPA implementation rule.

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SUMMARY: This document contains the final Denali Commission policies 
and procedures for compliance with the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended. This action is necessary to implement 
these procedures and make them available to the public on the 
Commission's internet site.

DATES: Effective September 12, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John Whittington, 907-271-1414.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

General

    Established by Congress in 1998, the Denali Commission (Commission) 
is an innovative federal-state partnership designed to provide critical 
utilities, infrastructure, and economic support throughout Alaska. With 
the creation of the Commission, Congress acknowledged the need for 
increased inter-agency cooperation and focus on Alaska's remote 
communities. Since its first meeting in April 1999, the Commission is 
credited with constructing numerous cost-shared infrastructure projects 
across the State that exemplify effective and efficient partnership 
between federal and state agencies, and the private sector.
    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and implementing 
regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) 
(40 CFR parts 1500-1508) established a broad national policy to use all 
practicable means and measures, including financial and technical 
assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general 
welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature 
can exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic, and 
other requirements of present and future generations of Americans. The 
CEQ regulations implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA are 
designed to ensure that this national policy, environmental 
considerations, and associated public concerns are given careful 
attention and appropriate weight in all decisions of the federal 
government. Sections 102(2) of NEPA and 40 CFR 1505.1 and 1507.3 
require federal agencies to develop and, as needed, revise implementing 
procedures consistent with the CEQ regulations. The Denali Commission 
is issuing the following NEPA implementing procedures that comply with 
NEPA and supplement the CEQ regulations. The remaining sections of 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION will provide background. Following the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION is the text of the final procedures.

Background

    In accordance with CEQ regulations (40 CFR 1507.3), the Commission 
consulted with the CEQ prior to publication of the proposed rule. On 
August 10, 2004, the Commission published a proposed rule in the 
Federal Register (69 FR 48435) and invited public comment. The 
Commission considered the comments received on the 2004 proposed rule. 
On March 6, 2006, however, the Commission published a document in the 
Federal Register withdrawing the 2004 proposed rule (71 FR 13563). At 
the time, the Commission intended to adopt guidelines for implementing 
NEPA instead of promulgating a final rule. Since that time, however, 
the Commission concluded that the approach outlined in the 2004 
proposed rule was appropriate and issued a revised version of the 
proposed rule for review and comment in the Federal Register on 
December 21, 2015 (80 FR 79292) that reflected the Commission's 
consideration of and responses to public comments received on the 2004 
proposed rule.
    The final rule published today reflects the Commission's 
consideration of and responses to the public comments received on the 
revised proposed rule.
    These procedures are final and will be made available to the public 
in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and on the Commission's 
internet site at https://www.denali.gov.

Comments and Responses

    The Commission received, reviewed and considered one comment on the 
proposed 2015 rule. The comment, however, was not substantive and no 
changes were made in response to the comment. Also considered were any 
substantive changes resulting from consultation with the CEQ.

Subpart A--General

Section 900.106 Denali Commission Responsibility

    Paragraph (e) was added to clarify that the Approving Official will 
be responsible for coordinating comments with cooperating agencies and 
other federal agencies.

Section 900.108 Public Involvement

    Language was added requiring hard copies of NEPA documents to be 
provided to local governmental and/or tribal entities in the effected 
communities.

Subpart C--Environmental Assessments

Section 900.302 General Considerations in Preparing Environmental 
Assessments

    The Commission added language clarifying the process for adoption 
of other environmental documents and incorporation by reference of 
other documents into an EA. Paragraphs (c) and (d) were eliminated 
because they were redundant and paragraph (e) was renumbered as 
paragraph (c).

Section 900.304 Actions Resulting From Assessment

    Paragraph (c) (Mitigated FONSI) was added to clarify the 
distinction between a mitigated FONSI and accepting a proposal with 
modifications (paragraph (b)).

Subpart D--Environmental Impact Statements

Section 900.405 Proposals Normally Requiring an EIS

    The Commission identified large scale infrastructure construction 
projects such as the relocation of an entire community as projects 
normally requiring an EIS.

List of Subjects in 45 CFR Part 900

    Administrative practice and procedure, Environmental impact 
statements, Environmental protection.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Denali Commission is 
adding chapter IX, consisting of parts 900 through 999, to title 45 of 
the CFR to read as follows:

CHAPTER IX--Denali Commission

PART 900--NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT IMPLEMENTING PROCEDURES

PARTS 901-999 [RESERVED]

PART 900--NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT IMPLEMENTING PROCEDURES

Subpart A--General
Sec.
900.101 Purpose.
900.102 Environmental policy.
900.103 Terms and abbreviations.
900.104 Federal and intergovernmental relationships.

[[Page 53034]]

900.105 Applicant responsibility.
900.106 Denali Commission responsibility.
900.107 Role of lead and cooperating agencies.
900.108 Public involvement.
Subpart B--Environmental Review Procedures
900.201 Environmental review process.
900.202 Emergency actions.
900.203 Determination of federal actions.
900.204 Categorical exclusions.
900.205 Environmental assessment.
900.206 Environmental impact statement.
900.207 Programmatic environmental reviews.
Subpart C--Environmental Assessments
900.301 Content.
900.302 General considerations in preparing environmental 
assessments.
900.303 Public involvement.
900.304 Actions resulting from assessment.
900.305 Findings of no significant impact.
900.306 Proposals normally requiring an EA.
Subpart D--Environmental Impact Statements
900.401 Notice of intent and scoping.
900.402 Preparation and filing of draft and final EISs.
900.403 Supplemental EIS.
900.404 Adoption.
900.405 Proposals normally requiring an EIS.
Appendix A to Part 900--Categorical Exclusions

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3121, 4321; 40 CFR parts 1500 through1508.

Subpart A--General


Sec.  900.101  Purpose.

    This regulation prescribes the policies and procedures of the 
Denali Commission (Commission) for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321-
4347) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for 
Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500 
through 1508). This regulation also addresses other related federal 
environmental laws, statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders that 
apply to Commission actions. This part adopts, supplements, and is to 
be used in conjunction with, 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, consistent 
with 40 CFR 1507.3.


Sec.  900.102  Environmental policy.

    It is the policy of the Commission to:
    (a) Comply with the procedures and policies of NEPA and other 
related environmental laws, regulations, and orders applicable to 
Commission actions;
    (b) Provide guidance to applicants responsible for ensuring that 
proposals comply with all appropriate Commission requirements;
    (c) Integrate NEPA requirements and other planning and 
environmental review procedures required by law or Commission practice 
so that all such procedures run concurrently rather than consecutively;
    (d) Encourage and facilitate public involvement in Commission 
decisions that affect the quality of the human environment;
    (e) Use the NEPA process to identify and assess reasonable 
alternatives to proposed Commission actions to avoid or minimize 
adverse effects upon the quality of the human environment;
    (f) Use all practicable means consistent with NEPA and other 
essential considerations of national policy to restore or enhance the 
quality of the human environment and avoid, minimize, or otherwise 
mitigate any possible adverse effects of the Commission's actions upon 
the quality of the human environment; and
    (g) Consider and give important weight to factors including 
customary and traditional uses of resources, recreation, and the 
objectives of Federal, regional, State, local and tribal land use 
plans, policies, and controls for the area concerned in developing 
proposals and making decisions in order to achieve a proper balance 
between the development and utilization of natural, cultural and human 
resources and the protection and enhancement of environmental quality 
(see NEPA section 101 and 40 CFR 1508.14). In particular the Commission 
will consider potential effects on subsistence activities, which are 
critically important to the daily existence of Alaska Native villages.


Sec.  900.103  Terms and abbreviations.

    (a) For the purposes of this part, the definitions in the CEQ 
Regulations, 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, are adopted and 
supplemented as set out in paragraphs (a)(1) through (5) of this 
section. In the event of a conflict the CEQ Regulations apply.
    (1) Action. Action and Federal action as defined in 40 CFR 1508.18, 
include projects, programs, plans, or policies, subject to the 
Commission's control and responsibility.
    (2) Applicant. The federal, state, local government or non-
governmental partner or organization applying to the Commission for 
financial assistance or other approval. An applicant may also be a 
partner organization in receipt of award funds.
    (3) Approving Official. The Denali Commission staff member 
designated by the Federal Co-Chair or his/her designee to fulfill the 
responsibilities defined in Sec.  900.106, including overseeing 
development of and approval of the NEPA document.
    (4) Commission proposal (or proposal). A proposal, as defined at 40 
CFR 1508.23, is a Commission proposal whether initiated by the 
Commission, another federal agency, or an applicant.
    (5) Federal Co-Chair. One of the seven members of the Commission, 
appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, as defined in the Denali 
Commission Act of 1998, 42 U.S.C. 3121, Public Law 105-277.
    (b) The following abbreviations are used throughout this part:
    (1) CATEX--Categorical exclusions;
    (2) CEQ--Council on Environmental Quality;
    (3) EA--Environmental assessment;
    (4) EIS--Environmental impact statement;
    (5) FONSI--Finding of no significant impact;
    (6) NEPA--National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended;
    (7) NOI--Notice of intent; and
    (8) ROD--Record of decision.


Sec.  900.104  Federal and intergovernmental relationships.

    The Denali Commission was created to deliver the services of the 
federal government in the most cost-effective manner practicable. In 
order to reduce administrative and overhead costs, the Commission 
partners with federal, state and local agencies and Alaska Native 
villages and commonly depends on these governmental agencies for 
project management. Consequently, the Commission generally relies on 
the expertise and processes already in use by partnering agencies to 
help prepare Commission NEPA analyses and documents.
    (a) With federal partners, the Commission will work as either a 
joint lead agency (40 CFR 1501.5 and 1508.16) or cooperating agency (40 
CFR 1501.6 and 1508.5). The Commission may invite other Federal 
agencies to serve as the lead agency, a joint lead agency, or as a 
cooperating agency.
    (b) Consistent with 40 CFR 1508.5, the Commission will typically 
invite Alaska Native villages and state and local government partners 
to serve as cooperating agencies.
    (c) Requests for the Commission to serve as a lead agency (40 CFR 
1501.5(d)), for CEQ to determine which Federal agency shall be the lead 
agency (40 CFR 1501.5(e)), or for the Commission to serve as a 
cooperating agency (40 CFR 1501.6(a)(1)) shall be mailed to the 
Commission office.

[[Page 53035]]

Sec.  900.105  Applicant responsibility.

    (a) Applicants shall work under Commission direction provided by 
the Approving Official, and assist the Commission in fulfilling its 
NEPA obligations by preparing NEPA analyses and documents that comply 
with the provisions of NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), the CEQ Regulations 
(40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508), and the requirements set forth in 
this part.
    (b) Applicants shall follow Commission direction when they assist 
the Commission with the following responsibilities, among others:
    (1) Prepare and disseminate applicable environmental documentation 
concurrent with a proposal's engineering, planning, and design;
    (2) Create and distribute public notices;
    (3) Coordinate public hearings and meetings as required;
    (4) Submit all environmental documents created pursuant to this 
part to the Commission for review and approval before public 
distribution;
    (5) Participate in all Commission-conducted hearings or meetings;
    (6) Consult with the Commission prior to obtaining the services of 
an environmental consultant; in the case that an EIS is required, the 
consultant or contractor will be selected by the Commission; and
    (7) Implement mitigation measures included as voluntary commitments 
by the applicant or as requirements of the applicant in environmental 
documents.


Sec.  900.106  Denali Commission responsibility.

    (a) The Federal Co-Chair or his/her designee shall designate an 
Approving Official for each Commission proposal, and shall provide 
environmental guidance to the Approving Official;
    (b) The Approving Official shall provide direction and guidance to 
the applicant as well as identification and development of required 
analyses and documentation;
    (c) The Approving Official shall make an independent evaluation of 
the environmental issues, take responsibility for the scope and content 
of the environmental document (EA or EIS), and make the environmental 
finding;
    (d) The Approving Official shall ensure mitigation measures 
included in environmental documents are implemented; and
    (e) The Approving official shall be responsible for coordinating 
communications with cooperating agencies and other federal agencies.


Sec.  900.107  Role of lead and cooperating agencies.

    In accordance with Sec.  900.104, the Commission may defer the lead 
agency role to other federal agencies in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.5, 
and the Commission will then exercise its role as either a joint lead 
or a cooperating agency in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.6.


Sec.  900.108  Public involvement.

    (a) When public involvement is required pursuant to subparts C and 
D of this part, interested persons and the affected public shall be 
provided notice of the availability of environmental documents, NEPA-
related hearings, and public meetings. Such notice will be made on the 
Commission Web site and other means such that the community is notified 
(e.g., community postings, newspaper, radio or television).
    (b) Applicants shall assist the Commission in providing the 
opportunity for public participation and considering the public 
comments on the proposal as described in subparts C and D of this part.
    (c) Interested persons can obtain information or status reports on 
EISs and other elements of the NEPA process from the Commission's 
office at 510 L Street, Suite 410; Anchorage, Alaska 99501; or on the 
Commission Web site at http://www.denali.gov. Telephone: (907) 271-
1414. The Commission will provide hard copies of NEPA documents to 
governmental and/or tribal entities in the affected communities.
    (d) In the interests of national security or the public health, 
safety, or welfare, the Commission may reduce any time periods that the 
Commission has established and that are not required by the CEQ 
Regulations. The Commission shall publish a notice on the Web site at 
http://www.denali.gov and notify interested parties (see 40 CFR 1506.6) 
specifying the revised time periods for the proposed action and the 
rationale for the reduction.

Subpart B--Environmental Review Procedures


Sec.  900.201  Environmental review process.

    (a) General. The environmental review process is the investigation 
of potential environmental impacts to determine the environmental 
process to be followed and to assist in the preparation of the 
environmental document.
    (b) Early coordination. Applicants will contact the Commission and 
work with the Approving Official to begin the environmental review 
process as soon as Denali Commission assistance is projected. 
Environmental issues shall be identified and considered early in the 
proposal planning process. A systematic, interdisciplinary approach 
that includes community involvement and intergovernmental coordination 
to expand the potential sources of information and identify areas of 
concern will be used. Environmental permits and other forms of 
approval, concurrence, or consultation may be required. The planning 
process shall include permitting and other review processes to ensure 
that necessary information will be collected and provided to permitting 
and reviewing agencies in a timely manner.


Sec.  900.202  Emergency actions.

    (a) General. Emergency circumstances may require immediate actions 
that preclude following standard NEPA processes. The Council shall 
limit alternative arrangements to those actions that are necessary to 
control the immediate impacts of the emergency. In the event of 
emergency circumstances, the Approving Official should coordinate with 
the Federal Co-Chair as soon as practicable. Immediate emergency 
actions necessary to protect the lives and safety of the public or 
prevent adverse impacts to ecological resources and functions should 
never be delayed in order to comply with these NEPA procedures. 
Alternative arrangements for NEPA compliance are permitted for 
emergency actions pursuant to paragraphs (b) through (d) of this 
section.
    (b) Categorical exclusion (CATEX). When emergency circumstances 
make it necessary to determine whether an extraordinary circumstance 
would preclude the use of a CATEX, the Approving Official shall make 
the determination as soon as practicable. If an extraordinary 
circumstance exists, the Approving Official shall comply with 
paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, as applicable.
    (c) Environmental assessment (EA). When emergency circumstances 
make it necessary to take an action that requires an EA before the EA 
can be completed, the Approving Official will consult with the Federal 
Co-Chair to develop alternative arrangements to meet the requirements 
of these NEPA implementing procedures and CEQ Regulations pertaining to 
EAs. Alternative arrangements should focus on minimizing adverse 
environmental impacts of the proposed action and the emergency. To the 
maximum extent practicable, these alternative arrangements should 
include the content, interagency coordination, and

[[Page 53036]]

public notification and involvement that would normally be undertaken 
for an EA for the action at issue and cannot alter the requirements of 
the CEQ Regulations at 40 CFR 1508.9(a)(1) and (b). The Federal Co-
Chair may grant an alternative arrangement. Any alternative arrangement 
shall be documented. The Federal Co-Chair will inform CEQ of the 
alternative arrangements at the earliest opportunity.
    (d) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Where emergency 
circumstances make it necessary to take actions with significant 
environmental impacts without observing other provisions of these NEPA 
implementing procedures and the CEQ Regulations (see 40 CFR 1506.11) 
the Federal Co-Chair may consult with CEQ about alternative 
arrangements for implementation of NEPA. In these situations, the 
Commission may reduce processing times or, if the emergency situation 
warrants, abbreviate its preparation and processing of EISs. Any 
request for alternative arrangements must be submitted by the Federal 
Co-Chair to CEQ and notice of a potential request should be provided to 
CEQ at the earliest opportunity. For projects undertaken by an 
applicant, the Approving Official will inform the Federal Co-Chair 
about the emergency. The Federal Co-Chair will consult CEQ requesting 
the alternative arrangements for complying with NEPA.


Sec.  900.203  Determination of federal actions.

    (a) The Commission shall determine whether any Commission proposal:
    (1) Is categorically excluded from preparation of either an EA or 
an EIS;
    (2) Requires preparation of an EA; or
    (3) Requires preparation of an EIS.
    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the 
Commission may prepare a NEPA document to assist any Commission action 
at any time in order to further the purposes of NEPA. This NEPA 
document may be done to analyze the consequences of ongoing Commission 
activities, to support Commission planning, to assess the need for 
mitigation, to disclose fully the potential environmental consequences 
of Commission actions, or for any other reason. Documents prepared 
under this paragraph shall be prepared in the same manner as Commission 
documents prepared under this part.


Sec.  900.204  Categorical exclusions.

    (a) General. A categorical exclusion (CATEX) is defined in 40 CFR 
1508.4 as a category of actions which do not individually or 
cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and, 
for which in the absence of extraordinary circumstances or sensitive 
resources, neither an EA nor an EIS is required. Actions that meet the 
conditions in paragraph (b) of this section and are listed in section A 
of appendix A of this part can be categorically excluded from further 
analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS. Actions that meet the 
screening conditions in paragraph (b) of this section and are listed in 
section B of appendix A require satisfactory completion of a Denali 
Commission CATEX checklist in order to be categorically excluded from 
further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS.
    (b) Conditions. The following three conditions must be met for an 
action to be categorically excluded from further analysis in an EA or 
EIS.
    (1) The action has not been segmented (too narrowly defined or 
broken down into small parts in order minimize its potential effects 
and avoid a higher level of NEPA review) and its scope includes the 
consideration of connected actions and, when evaluating extraordinary 
circumstances, cumulative impacts.
    (2) No extraordinary circumstances described in paragraph (c) of 
this section exist, unless resolved through other regulatory means.
    (3) One categorical exclusion described in either section of 
appendix A of this part encompasses the proposed action.
    (c) Extraordinary circumstances. Any action that normally would be 
classified as a CATEX but could involve extraordinary circumstances 
will require appropriate environmental review documented in a Denali 
Commission CATEX checklist to determine if the CATEX classification is 
proper or if an EA or EIS should be prepared. Extraordinary 
circumstances to be considered include those likely to:
    (1) Have a reasonable likelihood of significant impacts on public 
health, public safety, or the environment;
    (2) Have effects on the environment that are likely to be highly 
controversial or involve unresolved conflicts concerning alternative 
uses of available resources;
    (3) Have possible effects on the human environment that are highly 
uncertain, involve unique or unknown risks, or are scientifically 
controversial;
    (4) Establish a precedent for future action or represent a decision 
in principle about future actions with potentially significant 
environmental effects;
    (5) Relate to other actions with individually insignificant but 
cumulatively significant environmental effects;
    (6) Have a greater scope or size than is normal for the category of 
action;
    (7) Have the potential to degrade already existing poor 
environmental conditions or to initiate a degrading influence, 
activity, or effect in areas not already significantly modified from 
their natural condition;
    (8) Have a disproportionately high and adverse effect on low income 
or minority populations (see Executive Order 12898);
    (9) Limit access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites on 
federal lands by Indian religious practitioners or adversely affect the 
physical integrity of such sacred sites (see Executive Order 13007);
    (10) Threaten a violation of a federal, tribal, state or local law 
or requirement imposed for the protection of the environment;
    (11) Have a reasonable likelihood of significant impact to 
subsistence activities; or
    (12) Have a reasonable likelihood of significant impacts on 
environmentally sensitive resources, such as:
    (i) Properties listed, or eligible for listing, in the National 
Register of Historic Places;
    (ii) Species listed, or proposed to be listed, on the List of 
Endangered or Threatened Species, or their habitat; or
    (iii) Natural resources and unique geographic characteristics such 
as historic or cultural resources; park, recreation or refuge lands; 
wilderness areas; wild or scenic rivers; national natural landmarks; 
sole or principal drinking water aquifers; prime farmlands; special 
aquatic sites (defined under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act); 
floodplains; national monuments; and other ecologically significant or 
critical areas.


Sec.  900.205  Environmental assessment.

    (a) An EA is required for all proposals, except those exempt from 
NEPA or categorically excluded under this part, and those requiring or 
determined to require an EIS. EAs provide sufficient evidence and 
analysis to determine whether to prepare an EIS or a finding of no 
significant impact (FONSI).
    (b) In addition, an EA may be prepared on any action at any time in 
order to assist in planning and decision making, to aid in the 
Commission's compliance with NEPA when no EIS is necessary, or to 
facilitate EIS preparation.
    (c) EAs shall be prepared in accordance with subpart C of this part 
and shall contain analyses to support conclusions regarding 
environmental impacts. If a FONSI is proposed, it shall

[[Page 53037]]

be prepared in accordance with Sec.  900.305.


Sec.  900.206  Environmental impact statement.

    An EIS is required when the project is determined to have a 
potentially significant impact on the human environment. EISs shall be 
prepared in accordance with subpart D of this part.


Sec.  900.207  Programmatic environmental reviews.

    (a) A programmatic NEPA review is used to assess the environmental 
impacts of a proposed action that is broad in reach, such as a program, 
plan, or policy (see 40 CFR 1502.4). Analyses of subsequent actions 
that fall within the program, plan, or policy may be tiered to the 
programmatic review, as described in 40 CFR 1502.20 and 1508.28.
    (b) Programmatic NEPA reviews may take the form of a programmatic 
EA or a programmatic EIS.
    (c) A programmatic EA shall meet all of the requirements for EAs in 
subpart C of this part, including those for content and public 
involvement. In order to adopt a programmatic EA prepared by another 
agency that did not provide the same public involvement opportunities 
as the Commission, the Commission shall provide notice of the 
availability of the programmatic EA and make it available for public 
comment consistent with Sec.  900.303(b) and (c) before adopting it.
    (d) A programmatic EIS shall meet all of the requirements for EISs 
in subpart D of this part and in 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508.

Subpart C--Environmental Assessments


Sec.  900.301  Content.

    (a) An EA shall include brief discussions of the need for the 
proposal; of alternatives to the proposal as required by NEPA section 
102(2)(E); and of the environmental impacts of the proposal and 
alternatives. The EA shall also include a listing of agencies and 
persons consulted in the preparation of the EA.
    (b) An EA may describe a broad range of alternatives and proposed 
mitigation measures to facilitate planning and decisionmaking.
    (c) The EA should also document compliance, to the extent possible, 
with all applicable environmental laws and Executive Orders, or provide 
reasonable assurance that those requirements can be met.
    (d) The EA should be a concise public document. The level of detail 
and depth of impact analysis will normally be limited to the minimum 
needed to determine the significance of potential environmental 
effects.


Sec.  900.302  General considerations in preparing environmental 
assessments.

    (a) Adoption of an EA. The Commission may adopt an EA prepared for 
a proposal before the Commission by another agency or an applicant when 
the EA, or a portion thereof, addresses the proposed Commission action 
and meets the standards for an adequate analysis under this part and 
relevant provisions of 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, provided that 
the Commission makes its own evaluation of the environmental issues and 
takes responsibility for the scope and content of the EA in accordance 
with 40 CFR 1506.5(b).
    (b) Incorporation by reference into the EA. Any document may be 
incorporated by reference in accordance with 40 CFR 1502.21 and used in 
preparing an EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.4(e) and 1506.5(a), 
provided that the Commission makes its own evaluation of the 
environmental issues and takes responsibility for the scope and content 
of the EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.5(b).


Sec.  900.303  Public involvement.

    (a) Commission approval is required before an EA is made available 
to the public and the notice of availability is published.
    (b) The public shall be provided notice of the availability of EAs 
and draft FONSIs in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.6 and Sec.  900.108(a) 
by the Approving Official. The Approving Official is responsible for 
making the EA available for public inspection and will provide hard 
copies on request to the affected units of Alaska Native/American 
Indian tribal organizations and/or local government.
    (c) EAs and draft FONSIs will be available for public comment for 
not less than 15 calendar days but may be published for a longer period 
of time as determined by the Approving Official.
    (d) Final Commission action will be taken after public comments 
received on an EA and draft FONSI are reviewed and considered.


Sec.  900.304  Actions resulting from assessment.

    (a) Accepted without modification. The Commission may accept a 
proposal without modifications if the EA indicates that the proposal 
does not have significant environmental impacts and a FONSI is prepared 
in accordance with Sec.  900.305.
    (b) Accepted with modification. If an EA identifies potentially 
significant environmental impacts, the proposal may be modified to 
eliminate such impacts. Proposals so modified may be accepted by the 
Commission if the proposed changes are evaluated in an EA and a FONSI 
is prepared in accordance with Sec.  900.305.
    (c) Mitigated FONSI. If mitigation is required to reduce the 
impacts below significant the FONSI shall identify the mitigation and 
describe applicable monitoring and enforcement measures intended to 
ensure the implementation of the mitigation measures.
    (d) Prepare an EIS. The Commission shall require that the proposal 
be evaluated in an EIS, prepared in accordance with subpart D to this 
part, if the EA indicates significant environmental impacts that cannot 
be mitigated below a specified level of significance.
    (e) Rejected. The Commission may always elect to reject a proposal.


Sec.  900.305  Findings of no significant impact.

    (a) Definition. Finding of no significant impact (FONSI) means a 
document by the Commission briefly presenting the reasons why an 
action, not otherwise excluded as provided in Sec.  900.204, will not 
have a significant impact on the human environment and for which an EIS 
will not be prepared.
    (b) Applicant responsibility. The applicant shall assist the 
Commission with preparing the EA. The Commission remains responsible 
for compiling the public hearing summary or minutes, where applicable; 
and copies of any written comments received and responses thereto.
    (c) Content. A FONSI shall include the EA or a summary of it and 
shall note any other environmental documents related to it (40 CFR 
1501.7(a)(5)). If the assessment is included, the finding need not 
repeat any of the discussion in the assessment but may incorporate it 
by reference.
    (d) Publication. The Commission shall make the final FONSI 
available to the public on the Commission Web site.
    (e) Special circumstances. The FONSI notice of availability will be 
made available for public review (including State and areawide 
clearinghouses) for 30 days before the Commission makes its final 
determination whether to prepare an environmental impact statement and 
before the action may begin (40 CFR 1501.4(e)(2)) where:
    (1) The proposed action is, or is closely similar to, one which 
normally requires the preparation of an environmental impact statement 
under Sec.  900.405; or

[[Page 53038]]

    (2) The nature of the proposed action is one without precedent.


Sec.  900.306  Proposals normally requiring an EA.

    Proposals that normally require preparation of an EA include the 
following:
    (a) Initial field demonstration of a new technology; and
    (b) Field trials of a new product or new uses of an existing 
technology.

Subpart D--Environmental Impact Statements


Sec.  900.401  Notice of intent and scoping.

    (a) The Commission shall publish a NOI, as described in 40 CFR 
1508.22, in the Federal Register as soon as practicable after a 
decision is made to prepare an EIS, in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7. 
If there will be a lengthy period of time between the Commission's 
decision to prepare an EIS and its actual preparation, the Commission 
may defer publication of the NOI until a reasonable time before 
preparing the EIS, provided that the Commission allows a reasonable 
opportunity for interested parties to participate in the EIS process. 
Consistent with Sec.  900.201(b), the Commission and the applicant will 
coordinate during the time period prior to the publication of the NOI 
to identify: the scope of the action, potential modifications to the 
proposal, potential alternatives, environmental constraints, potential 
timeframes for the environmental review, and federal, state, or tribal 
entities that could be interested in the project, including those with 
the potential to become cooperating agencies. Through the NOI, the 
Commission shall invite comments and suggestions on the scope of the 
EIS.
    (b) Publication of the NOI in the Federal Register shall begin the 
public scoping process. The public scoping process for a Commission EIS 
shall allow a minimum of 30 days for the receipt of public comments.


Sec.  900.402  Preparation and filing of draft and final EISs.

    (a) General. Except for proposals for legislation as provided for 
in 40 CFR 1506.8, EISs shall be prepared in two stages and may be 
supplemented.
    (b) Format. The EIS format recommended by 40 CFR 1502.10 shall be 
used unless a determination is made on a particular project that there 
is a compelling reason to do otherwise. In such a case, the EIS format 
must meet the minimum requirements prescribed in 40 CFR 1502.10, as 
further described in 40 CFR 1502.11 through 1502.18.
    (c) Applicant role. The draft or final EIS shall be prepared by the 
Commission with assistance from the applicant under appropriate 
guidance and direction from the Approving Official.
    (d) Third-party consultants. A third-party consultant selected by 
the Commission or in cooperation with a cooperating agency may prepare 
the draft or final EIS.
    (e) Commission responsibility. The Commission shall provide a 
schedule with time limits, guidance, participate in the preparation, 
independently evaluate, and take responsibility for the content of the 
draft and final EIS.
    (f) Filing. After a draft or final EIS has been prepared, the 
Commission shall file the EIS with the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA). The EPA will publish a notice of availability in accordance with 
40 CFR 1506.9 and 1506.10.
    (g) Draft to final EIS. When a final EIS does not require 
substantial changes from the draft EIS, the Commission may document 
required changes in errata sheets, insertion pages, and revised 
sections. The Commission will then circulate such changes together with 
comments on the draft EIS, responses to comments, and other appropriate 
information as its final EIS. The Commission will not circulate the 
draft EIS again; however, the Commission will post the EIS on its Web 
site and provide the draft EIS if requested.
    (h) Record of decision. A record of decision (ROD) will be prepared 
in accordance with 40 CFR 1505.2.


Sec.  900.403  Supplemental EIS.

    (a) Supplements to either draft or final EISs shall be prepared, as 
prescribed in 40 CFR 1502.9, when the Commission finds that there are 
substantial changes are proposed in a project that are relevant to 
environmental concerns; or when there are significant new circumstances 
or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the 
proposed action or its impacts.
    (b) Where Commission action remains to be taken and the EIS is more 
than three years old, the Commission will review the EIS to determine 
whether it is adequate or requires supplementation.
    (c) The Commission shall prepare, circulate and file a supplement 
to an EIS in the same fashion (exclusive of scoping) as a draft and 
final EIS. In addition, the supplement and accompanying administrative 
record shall be included in the administrative record for the proposal. 
When an applicant is involved, the applicant shall, under the direction 
of the approving official, provide assistance.
    (d) An NOI to prepare a supplement to a final EIS will be published 
in those cases where a ROD has already been issued.


Sec.  900.404  Adoption.

    (a) The Commission may adopt a draft or final EIS or portion 
thereof (see 40 CFR 1506.3), including a programmatic EIS, prepared by 
another agency.
    (b) If the actions covered by the original EIS and the proposal are 
substantially the same, the Commission shall recirculate it as a final 
statement. Otherwise, the Commission shall treat the statement as a 
draft and recirculate it except as provided in paragraph (c) of this 
section.
    (c) Where the Commission is a cooperating agency, it may adopt the 
EIS of the lead agency without recirculating it when, after an 
independent review of the EIS, the Commission concludes that its 
comments and suggestions have been satisfied.
    (d) When the Commission adopts an EIS which is not final within the 
agency that prepared it, or when the action it assesses is the subject 
of a referral under 40 CFR part 1504, or when the EIS's adequacy is the 
subject of a judicial action which is not final, the Commission shall 
so specify.


Sec.  900.405  Proposals normally requiring an EIS.

    An EIS will normally be required for:
    (a) Large scale infrastructure construction efforts such as the 
relocation of an entire community;
    (b) A project that requires a formal consultation under Section 7 
of the Endangered Species Act; or
    (c) Where implementation of the proposal may directly cause or 
induce changes that significantly:
    (1) Displace population;
    (2) Alter the character of existing residential areas; or
    (3) Adversely affect a floodplain.

Appendix A to Part 900--Categorical Exclusions

A. General Categorical Exclusions

    Actions consistent with any of the following categories are, in 
the absence of extraordinary circumstances, categorically excluded 
from further analysis in an EA or EIS:
    A1. Routine administrative and management activities including, 
but not limited to, those activities related to budgeting, finance, 
personnel actions, procurement activities, compliance with 
applicable executive orders and procedures for sustainable or 
``greened'' procurement, retaining legal counsel, public affairs

[[Page 53039]]

activities (e.g., issuing press releases, newsletters and notices of 
funding availability), internal and external program evaluation and 
monitoring (e.g., site visits), database development and 
maintenance, and computer systems administration.
    A2. Routine activities that the Commission does to support its 
program partners and stakeholders, such as serving on task forces, 
ad hoc committees or representing Commission interests in other 
forums.
    A3. Approving and issuing grants for administrative overhead 
support.
    A4. Approving and issuing grants for social services, education 
and training programs, including but not limited to support for Head 
Start, senior citizen programs, drug treatment programs, and funding 
internships, except for projects involving construction, renovation, 
or changes in land use.
    A5. Approving and issuing grants for facility planning and 
design.
    A6. Nondestructive data collection, inventory, study, research, 
and monitoring activities (e.g., field, aerial and satellite 
surveying and mapping).
    A7. Research, planning grants and technical assistance projects 
that are not reasonably expected to commit the federal government to 
a course of action, to result in legislative proposals, or to result 
in direct development.
    A8. Acquisition and installation of equipment including, but not 
limited to, EMS, emergency and non-expendable medical equipment 
(e.g., digital imaging devices and dental equipment), and 
communications equipment (e.g., computer upgrades).

B. Program Categorical Exclusions

    Actions consistent with any of the following categories are, in 
the absence of extraordinary circumstances, categorically excluded 
from further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS upon 
completion of the Denali Commission CATEX checklist:
    B1. Upgrade, repair, maintenance, replacement, or minor 
renovations and additions to buildings, roads, harbors and other 
maritime facilities, grounds, equipment, and other facilities, 
including but not limited to, roof replacement, foundation repair, 
ADA access ramp and door improvements, weatherization and energy 
efficiency related improvements, HVAC renovations, painting, floor 
system replacement, repaving parking lots and ground maintenance, 
that do not result in a change in the functional use of the real 
property.
    B2. Engineering studies and investigations that do not 
permanently change the environment.
    B3. Construction or lease of new infrastructure including, but 
not limited to, health care facilities, community buildings, 
housing, and bulk fuel storage and power generation plants, where 
such lease or construction:
    (a) Is at the site of existing infrastructure and capacity is 
not substantially increased; or
    (b) Is for infrastructure of less than 12,000 square feet of 
useable space when less than two aces of surface land area are 
involved at a new site.
    B4. Construction or modification of electric power stations or 
interconnection facilities (including, but not limited to, switching 
stations and support facilities).
    B5. Construction of electric powerlines approximately ten miles 
in length or less, or approximately 20 miles in length or less 
within previously disturbed or developed powerline or pipeline 
rights-of-way.
    B6. Upgrading or rebuilding approximately twenty miles in length 
or less of existing electric powerlines, which may involve minor 
relocations of small segments or the powerlines.
    B7. Demolition, disposal, or improvements involving buildings or 
structures when done in accordance with applicable regulations, 
including those regulations applying to removal of asbestos, 
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other hazardous materials.

PARTS 901-999 [RESERVED]

    Dated: July 6, 2016.
Joel Neimeyer,
Federal Co-Chair.
[FR Doc. 2016-18176 Filed 8-10-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE P