(1) Following preparation of a draft EIS,
the agency shall distribute copies to the governor, 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, 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 36.2.530(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 EQC. The listed transmittal date to the governor and
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
(a) have an adverse environmental impact; or
(b) limit the choice of reasonable alternatives, including the no-action alternative.