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Appendix A to Subpart A--Format for Presentation of Material in Environmental Impact Statements

1. General

(a) The Commission will use a format for environmental impact statements which will encourage good analysis and clear presentation of the alternatives including the proposed action. The following standard format for environmental impact statements should be followed unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise:

(1) Cover sheet*

(2) Summary*

(3) Table of Contents

(4) Purpose of and Need for Action*

(5) Alternatives including the proposed action*

(6) Affected Environment*

(7) Environmental Consequences and Mitigating Actions*

(8) List of Preparers*

(9) List of Agencies, Organizations and Persons to Whom Copies of the Statement are Sent

(10) Substantive Comments Received and NRC Staff Responses

(11) Index

(12) Appendices (if any)*

If a different format is used, it shall include paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (8), (9), (10), and (11) of this section and shall include the substance of paragraphs (4), (5), (6), (7), and (12) of this section, in any appropriate format.

Additional guidance on the presentation of material under the format headings identified by an asterisk is set out in sections 2. - 9. of this appendix.

(b) The techniques of tiering and incorporation by reference described respectively in 40 CFR 1502.20 and 1508.28 and 40 CFR 1502.211 of CEQ's NEPA regulations may be used as appropriate to aid in the presentation of issues, eliminate repetition or reduce the size of an environmental impact statement. In appropriate circumstances, draft or final environmental impact statements prepared by other Federal agencies may be adopted in whole or in part in accordance with the procedures outlined in 40 CFR 1506.32 of CEQ's NEPA regulations. In final environmental impact statements, material under the following format headings will normally be presented in less than 150 pages: Purpose of and Need for Action, Alternatives Including the Proposed Action, Affected Environment, and Environmental Consequences and Mitigating Actions. For proposals of unusual scope or complexity, the material presented under these format headings may extend to 300 pages.

2. Cover sheet.

The cover sheet will not exceed one page. It will include:

(a) The name of the NRC office responsible for preparing the statement and a list of any cooperating agencies.

(b) The title of the proposed action that is the subject of the statement with a list of the states, counties or municipalities where the facility or other subject of the action is located, as appropriate.

(c) The name, address, and telephone number of the individual in NRC who can supply further information.

(d) A designation of the statement as a draft or final statement, or a draft or final supplement.

(e) A one paragraph abstract of the statement.

(f) For draft environmental impact statements, the date by which comments must be received. This date may be specified in the form of the following or a substantially similar statement:

"Comments should be filed no later than3 days after the date on which the Environmental Protection Agency notice stating that the draft environmental impact statement has been filed with EPA is published in the Federal Register. Comments received after the expiration of the comment period will be considered if it is practical to do so but assurance of consideration of late comments cannot be given."

3. Summary.

Each environmental impact statement will contain a summary which adequately and accurately summarizes the statement. The summary will stress the major issues considered. The summary will discuss the areas of controversy, will identify any remaining issues to be resolved, and will present the major conclusions and recommendations. The summary will normally not exceed 15 pages.

4. Purpose of and need for action.

The statement will briefly describe and specify the need for the proposed action. The alternative of no action will be discussed. In the case of nuclear power plant construction or siting, consideration will be given to the potential impact of conservation measures in determining the demand for power and consequent need for additional generating capacity.

5. Alternatives including the proposed action.

This section is the heart of the environmental impact statement. It will present the environmental impacts of the proposal and the alternatives in comparative form. Where important to the comparative evaluation of alternatives, appropriate mitigating measures of the alternatives will be discussed. All reasonable alternatives will be identified. The range of alternatives discussed will encompass those proposed to be considered by the ultimate decisionmaker. An otherwise reasonable alternative will not be excluded from discussion solely on the ground that it is not within the jurisdiction of the NRC.4 The discussion of alternatives will take into accounts, without duplicating, the environmental information and analyses included in sections, 4., 6. and 7. of this appendix.

In the draft environmental impact statement, this section will either include a preliminary recommendation on the action to be taken, or identify the alternatives under consideration.

In the final environmental impact statement, this section will include a final recommendation on the action to be taken.

6. Affected environment.

The environmental impact statement will succinctly describe the environment to be affected by the proposed action. Data and analyses in the statement will be commensurate with the importance of the impact, with less important material summarized, consolidated, or simply referenced. Effort and attention will be concentrated on important issues; useless bulk will be eliminated.

7. Environmental consequences and mitigating actions.

This section discusses the environmental consequences of alternatives, including the proposed actions and any mitigating actions which may be taken. Alternatives eliminated from detailed study will be identified and a discussion of those alternatives will be confined to a brief statement of the reasons why the alternatives were eliminated. The level of information for each alternative considered in detail will reflect the depth of analysis required for sound decisionmaking.

The discussion will include any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the alternative be implemented, the relationship between short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and any irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the alternative should it be implemented. This section will include discussions of:

(a) Direct effects and their significance.

(b) Indirect effects and their significance.

(c) Possible conflicts between the alternative and the objectives of Federal, regional, State, and local (and in the case of a reservation, Indian tribe) land use plans, policies and controls for the area concerned.

(d) Means to mitigate adverse environmental impacts.

8. List of preparers.

The environmental impact statement will list the names and qualifications (expertise, experience, professional disciplines), of the persons who were primarily responsible for preparing the environmental impact statement or significant background papers. Persons responsible for making an independent evaluation of information submitted by the applicant or petitioner for rulemaking or others will be included in the list. Where possible, the persons who are responsible for a particular analysis, including analyses in background papers, will be identified.

9. Appendices.

An appendix to an environmental impact statement will:

(a) Consist of material prepared in connection with an environmental impact statement (as distinct from material which is not so prepared and which is incorporated by reference (40 CFR 1502.21)).

(b) Normally consist of material which substantiates any analysis fundamental to the impact statement. Discussion of methodology used may be placed in an appendix.

(c) Normally be analytic.

(d) Be relevant to the decision to be made.

(e) Be circulated with the environmental impact statement or be readily available on request.

Discussion of Footnotes

1. Tiering.

40 CFR 1502.20 states:

"Agencies are encouraged to tier their environmental impact statements to eliminate repetitive discussions of the same issues and to focus on the actual issues ripe for decision at each level of environmental review (§ 1508.28). Whenever a broad environmental impact statement has been prepared (such as a program or policy statement) and a subsequent statement or environmental assessment is then prepared on an action included within the entire program or policy (such as a site specific action) the subsequent statement or environmental assessment need only summarize the issues discussed in the broader statement and incorporate discussions from the broader statement by reference and shall concentrate on the issues specific to the subsequent action. The subsequent document shall state where the earlier document is available. Tiering may also be appropriate for different stages of actions. (Sec. 1508.28)."

40 CFR 1508.28 states:

"`Tiering' refers to the coverage of general matters in broader environmental impact statements (such as national program or policy statements) with subsequent narrower statements or environmental analyses (such as regional or basinwide program statements or ultimately site-specific statements) incorporating by reference the general discussions and concentrating solely on the issues specific to the statement subsequently prepared. Tiering is appropriate when the sequence of statements or analyses is:

"(a) From a program, plan, or policy environmental impact statement to a program, plan, or policy statement or analysis of lesser scope or to a site-specific statement or analysis.

"(b) From an environmental impact statement on a specific action at an early stage (such as need and site selection) to a supplement (which is preferred) or a subsequent statement or analysis at a later stage (such as environmental mitigation). Tiering in such cases is appropriate when it helps the lead agency to focus on the issues which are ripe for decision and exclude from consideration issues already decided or not yet ripe."

Incorporation by reference. 40 CFR 1502.21 states:

"Agencies shall incorporate material into an environmental impact statement by reference when the effect will be to cut down on bulk without impeding agency and public review of the action. The incorporated material shall be cited in the statement and its content briefly described. No material may be incorporated by reference unless it is reasonably available for inspection by potentially interested persons within the time allowed for comment. Material based on proprietary data which is itself not available for review and comment shall not be incorporated by reference."

2. Adoption.

40 CFR 1506.3 states:

"(a) An agency may adopt a Federal draft or final environmental impact statement or portion thereof provided that the statement or portion thereof meets the standards for an adequate statement under these regulations.

"(b) If the actions covered by the original environmental impact statement and the proposed action are substantially the same, the agency adopting another agency's statement is not required to recirculate it except as a final statement. Otherwise the adopting agency shall treat the statement as a draft and recirculate it (except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section).

"(c) A cooperating agency may adopt without recirculating the environmental impact statement of a lead agency when, after an independent review of the statement, the cooperating agency concludes that its comments and suggestions have been satisfied.

"(d) When an agency adopts a statement which is not final within the agency that prepared it, or when the action it assesses is the subject of a referral under part 1504, or when the statement's adequacy is the subject of a judicial action which is not final, the agency shall so specify."

[49 FR 9381, Mar. 12, 1984, as amended at 61 FR 28490, June 5, 1996; 61 FR 66546, Dec. 18, 1996]

1. Tiering--40 CFR 1502.20, 40 CFR 1508.28; Incorporation by reference--40 CFR 1502.21.

2.Adoption--40 CFR 1506.3.

3. The number of days in the comment period should be inserted. The minimum comment period is 45 days (see § 51.73.)

4. With respect to limitations on NRC's NEPA authority and responsibility imposed by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, see §§ 51.10(c), 51.22(c)(17) and 51.71(d).

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 25, 2013