FORTY MOST ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Public Availability of EAs v. FONSIs
38. Must (EAs) and FONSIs be made public? If so, how should this be done?
Yes, they must be made available to the public. Section1506.6 requires
agencies to involve the public in implementing their NEPA
procedures, and this includes public involvement in the preparation of EAs
and FONSIs. These are public "environmental documents"
under 1506.6(b), and, therefore, agencies must give public notice of their
availability. A combination of methods may be used to give
notice, and the methods should be tailored to the needs of particular cases.
Thus, a Federal Register notice of availability of the
documents with notices in national publications and mailed to interested
national groups might be appropriate for proposals that are
national in scope. Local newspaper notices may be more appropriate for
regional or site-specific proposals. The objective, however, is
to notify all interested or affected parties. If this is not being achieved,
then the methods should be reevaluated and changed. Repeated
failure to reach the interested or affected public would be interpreted as a
violation of the regulations.