FORTY MOST ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Adoption of EISs
When a cooperating agency with jurisdiction by law intends to adopt a lead agency's EIS and it is not satisfied with
the adequacy of the document, may the cooperating agency adopt only the part of the EIS with which it is satisfied? If so,
would a cooperating agency with jurisdiction by law have to prepare a separate EIS or EIS supplement covering the areas
of disagreement with the lead agency?
- Generally, a cooperating agency may adopt a lead agency's EIS without recirculating
it if it concludes that its NEPA requirements and
itS comments and suggestions have been satisfied. Section 1506.3(a),(c). If necessary,
a cooperating agency may adopt on]y a portion
of the lead agency's EIS and may reject that part of the EIS with which it disagrees,
stating publicly why it did so. Section 1506.3(a).
A cooperating agency with jurisdiction by law (e.g., an agency with independent legal
responsibilities With respect to a proposal) has an
independent legal obligation to comply with NEPA. Therefore, if the cooperating agency
determines that the EIS is wrong or inadequate,
it must prepare a supplement to the EIS, replacing or adding any needed information,
and must circulate the supplement as a draft for
public and agency review and comment. A final supplemental EIS would be required before
the agency could take action.
The adopted portions of the lead agency EIS should be circulated with the supplement.
Section 1506.3(b). A cooperating agency with
jurisdiction by law will have to prepare its own Record of Decision for its action, in
which it must explain how it reached its conclusions.
Each agency should explain how and - why its conclusions differ, if that is the case,
from those of other agencies which issued their
Records of Decision earlier
An agency that did not cooperate in preparation of an EIS may also adopt an EIS or
portion thereof. But this would anse only in rare
instances, because an agency adopting an EIS for use in its own decision normally
would have been a cooperating agency. If the
proposed action for which the EIS was prepared is substantially the same as the
proposed action of the adopting agency, the EIS may
be adopted as long as it iS recirculated as a final EIS and the agency announces
what it is doing. This would be followed by the 30-day
review period and issuance of a Record of Decision by the adopting agency. If the
proposed action by the adopting agency is not
substantially the same as that in the EIS (i.e., if an EIS on one action is being
adapted for use in a decision on another action), the EIS
would be treated as a draft and circulated for the normal public comment period and
other procedures. Section 1506.3(b).