United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 29, 2020
On the request of a project sponsor, a lead agency shall consider and, as appropriate, adopt or incorporate by reference, the analysis and documentation that has been prepared for a covered project under State laws and procedures as the documentation, or part of the documentation, required to complete an environmental review for the covered project, if the analysis and documentation were, as determined by the lead agency in consultation with the Council on Environmental Quality, prepared under circumstances that allowed for opportunities for public participation and consideration of alternatives, environmental consequences, and other required analyses that are substantially equivalent to what would have been available had the documents and analysis been prepared by a Federal agency pursuant to NEPA.
The Council on Environmental Quality may issue guidance to carry out this subsection.
An environmental document adopted under subparagraph (A) or a document that includes documentation incorporated under subparagraph (A) may serve as the documentation required for an environmental review or a supplemental environmental review required to be prepared by a lead agency under NEPA.
A lead agency shall issue a record of decision or finding of no significant impact, as appropriate, based on the document adopted under subparagraph (A) and any supplemental document prepared under subparagraph (C).
As early as practicable during the environmental review, but not later than the commencement of scoping for a project requiring the preparation of an environmental impact statement, the lead agency shall engage the cooperating agencies and the public to determine the range of reasonable alternatives to be considered for a covered project.
The determination under subparagraph (A) shall be completed not later than the completion of scoping.
Following participation under paragraph (1) and subject to subparagraph (B), the lead agency shall determine the range of reasonable alternatives for consideration in any document that the lead agency is responsible for preparing for the covered project.
In determining the range of alternatives under subparagraph (A), the lead agency shall include all alternatives required to be considered by law.
The lead agency shall determine, in collaboration with each cooperating agency at appropriate times during the environmental review, the methodologies to be used and the level of detail required in the analysis of each alternative for a covered project.
A cooperating agency shall use the methodologies referred to in subparagraph (A) when conducting any required environmental review, to the extent consistent with existing law.
The lead agency and each cooperating and participating agency shall work cooperatively in accordance with this section to identify and resolve issues that could delay completion of an environmental review or an authorization required for the project under applicable law or result in the denial of any approval under applicable law.
The lead agency shall make information available to each cooperating and participating agency and project sponsor as early as practicable in the environmental review regarding the environmental, historic, and socioeconomic resources located within the project area and the general locations of the alternatives under consideration.
The information described in subparagraph (A) may be based on existing data sources, including geographic information systems mapping.
The authorities granted under this section may be exercised for an individual covered project or a category of covered projects.