8.2.307 PUBLIC REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS
(1) The level of analysis in an EA will vary with the complexity and
seriousness of environmental issues associated with a proposed action. The
level of public interest will also vary. The agency is responsible for
adjusting public review to match these factors.
(2) An EA is a public document and may be inspected upon request. Any person
may obtain a copy of an EA by making a request to the agency. If the document
is out-of-print, a copying charge may be levied.
(3) The agency is responsible for providing additional opportunities for
public review consistent with the seriousness and complexity of the
environmental issues associated with a proposed action and the level of public
interest. Methods of accomplishing public review include publishing a news
release or legal notice to announce the availability of an EA, summarizing its
content and soliciting public comment; holding public meetings or hearings;
maintaining mailing lists of persons interested in a particular action or type
of action and notifying them of the availability of EAs on such actions; and
distributing copies of EAs for review and comment.
(4) For an action with limited environmental impact and little public
interest, no further public review may be warranted. However, where an action
is one that normally requires an EIS, but effects that otherwise might be
deemed significant are mitigated in the project proposal or by controls imposed
by the agency, public involvement must include the opportunity for public
comment, a public meeting or hearing, and adequate notice. The agency is
responsible for determining appropriate methods to ensure adequate public
review on a case by case basis.
(5) The agency shall maintain a log of all EAs completed by the agency and
shall submit a list of any new EAs completed to the office of the governor and
the environmental quality council on a quarterly basis. In addition, the agency
shall submit a copy of each completed EA to the EQC.
(6) The agency shall consider the substantive comments received in response
to an EA and proceed in accordance with one of the following steps, as
(a) determine that an EIS is necessary;
(b) determine that the EA did not adequately reflect the issues raised by
the proposed action and issue a revised document; or
(c) determine that an EIS is not necessary and make a final decision on the
proposed action, with appropriate modification resulting from the analysis in
the EA and
of public comment.
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.