32.2.226 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:
(a) publishing a news release or legal notice to
announce the availability of an EA, summarizing its content and soliciting
(b) holding public meetings or hearings;
(c) 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
(d) distributing copies of EAs for review and
(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 EQC 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 appropriate:
(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;
(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 analysis of public comment.
History: Sec. 2-4-201 MCA; IMP, Sec. 2-4-201, 75-1-201 MCA; NEW, 2000 MAR p. 3409, Eff. 12/8/00.