(1) Following preparation of a
draft EIS, the agency shall distribute copies to the governor, the EQC,
appropriate state and federal agencies, the applicant, if any, and persons who
have requested copies.
(2) The listed transmittal date to the governor
and the EQC must not be earlier than the date that the draft EIS is mailed to
other agencies, organizations, and individuals. The agency shall allow 30 days for reply, provided that the
agency may extend this period up to an additional 30 days at its discretion or
upon application of any person for good cause.
When preparing a joint EIS with a federal agency or agencies, the agency
may also extend this period in accordance with time periods specified in
regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act. However, no extension which is otherwise
prohibited by law may be granted.
(3) In cases involving an applicant, after the
period for comment on the draft EIS has expired, the agency shall send to the
applicant a copy of all written comments that were received. The agency shall advise the applicant that
he has a reasonable time to respond in writing to the comments received by the
agency on the draft EIS and that the applicant's written response must be
received before a final EIS can be prepared and circulated. The applicant may waive his right to respond
to the comments on the draft EIS.
(4) Following preparation of a final EIS, the
agency shall distribute copies to the governor, the EQC, appropriate state and
federal agencies, the applicant, if any, persons who submitted comments on or
received a copy of the draft EIS, and other members of the public upon request.
(5) Except as provided by ARM 32.2.230(4) , a final
decision must not be made on the proposed action being evaluated in a final EIS
until 15 days have expired from the date of transmittal of the final EIS to the
governor and the EQC. The listed transmittal date to the governor and the EQC
must not be earlier than the date that the final EIS is mailed to other
agencies, organizations, and individuals.
(6) All written comments received on an EIS,
including written responses received from the applicant, must be made available
to the public upon request.
(7) Until the agency reaches its final decision on
the proposed action, no action concerning the proposal may be taken that would:
(a) have an adverse environmental impact; or
(b) limit the choice of reasonable alternatives,
including the no-action alternative.