Purpose. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is a document prepared by an OPDIV/STAFF that briefly presents the reasons why an action, not otherwise excluded (see 30-20-40), will not have a significant effect on the human environment and for which, therefore, an EIS will not be prepared (40 CFR '1508.13).
Responsibilities. The responsible official will evaluate the information contained in the EA to determine whether it is accurate and objective, whether the proposed action may significantly affect the quality of the human environment, and whether an EIS will be prepared. The responsible official will examine the environmental effects of the proposed action and the alternative courses of action, select a course of action, and ensure that any necessary mitigating measures are implemented as a condition for approving the selected course of action. When the responsible official has determined that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the human environment, the responsible official will sign the FONSI, thereby establishing that the official approves the conclusion not to prepare an EIS for the action under consideration.
A FONSI shall be prepared only if the related EA supports the finding that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment. The environmental assessment (or a summary of the EA) shall be included as a part of the FONSI.
If significant effects requiring the preparation of an EIS are identified, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS will be published in the Federal Register in accordance with ' 30-50-55. If an EA does not support a FONSI, an EIS shall be prepared and a Record of Decision (ROD) issued before action is taken on the proposal addressed by the EA, except as permitted under 40 CFR 1506.1.
Contents. The FONSI shall include the following:
The supporting EA or a summary of it (including a brief description of the proposed action and alternatives considered in the EA, environmental factors considered, projected impacts);
References to any other related environmental documents (40 CFR ' 1501.7(a)(5));
Any mitigation measures that will render the impacts of the proposed action not significant;
Any findings required by Sections 30-40-40 or 30-40-70 in connection with floodplain or wetlands environmental reviews;
The date of issuance; and
The signature of the approving official.
If the assessment is included, the FONSI need not repeat any of the discussion in the assessment but may incorporate it by reference.
Proposed Action. An OPDIV/STAFFDIV may proceed with the proposed action after the FONSI is issued, subject to any mitigation measures identified in the FONSI that are essential to render the impacts of the proposed action not significant.