(1) Whenever the agency is contemplating a series of agency-initiated actions, programs, or policies which in part or in total may constitute a major state action significantly affecting the human environment, it shall prepare a programmatic review discussing the impacts of the series of actions.

(2) The agency may also prepare a programmatic review whenever required by statute, whenever a series of actions under the jurisdiction of the agency warrant such an analysis as determined by the agency, or whenever prepared as a joint effort with a federal agency requiring a programmatic review.

(3) The agency shall determine whether the programmatic review takes the form of an EA or an EIS in accordance with the provisions of ARM 36.2.523 and 36.2.524, unless otherwise provided by statute.

(4) A programmatic review must include, as a minimum, a concise, analytical discussion of alternatives and the cumulative environmental effects of these alternatives on the human environment. In addition programmatic reviews must contain the information specified in ARM 36.2.529 for EISs or ARM 36.2.525 for EAs, as applicable.

(5) The agency shall adhere to the time limits specified for distribution and public comment on EISs or EAs, whichever is applicable.

(6) While work on a programmatic review is in progress, the agency may not take major state actions covered by the program in that interim period unless such action:

(a) is part of an ongoing program;

(b) is justified independently of the program; or

(c) will not prejudice the ultimate decision on the program. Interim action prejudices the ultimate decision on the program if it tends to determine subsequent development or foreclose reasonable alternatives.

(7) Actions taken under subsection (6) must be accompanied by an EA or an EIS, if required.

History: Sec. 2-3-103, 2-4-201, MCA; IMP, Sec. 2-3-104, 75-1-201, MCA; NEW, 1988 MAR p. 2692, Eff. 12/23/88.