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RULE §375.64Board's Environmental Finding: Finding of No Significant Impact

(a) Purpose and applicability. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) may be issued if the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the human environment. A FONSI shall be based upon the information submitted by the Applicant and upon the environmental assessment (EA) prepared by the executive administrator.

(b) Environmental Assessment. An Environmental Assessment is required when the proposed project is expected to result in environmental impacts and the significance of those impacts is not known. When the executive administrator preliminarily determines that the impacts will not be significant and may be addressed by ordinary mitigation measures, then an Environmental Assessment will be prepared. An Environmental Assessment is not required if the proposed action is categorically excluded or if an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

(c) Contents of an Environmental Assessment.

  (1) An Environmental Assessment shall include a brief discussion of the following:

    (A) the purpose and need for the proposed project and an estimate of cost of the project;

    (B) the alternatives considered, including the no action alternative, and the reasons for the rejection or acceptance of the alternatives;

    (C) the affected environment, including baseline conditions that may be impacted by the proposed actions and the alternatives;

    (D) the environmental impacts of the proposed project and the alternatives, including any unresolved conflicts concerning alternative use of available resources; and

    (E) applicable environmental laws and executive orders.

  (2) The form of the Environmental Assessment generally shall include:

    (A) a listing or summary of coordination and consultation undertaken with any federal, state, local, or Indian tribe government regarding compliance with applicable environmental laws and executive orders;

    (B) identification and description of the mitigation measures considered, including mitigation measures that must be adopted to ensure the proposed project will not have significant impacts; and

    (C) incorporation of documents by reference, including the Environmental Information Document submitted by the Applicant.

(d) Contents of a FONSI. When the Environmental Assessment supports a finding that the proposed project will not have a significant effect on the human environment, then the Board may issue a FONSI. The FONSI must include the following components:

  (1) an Environmental Assessment;

  (2) a brief description of the reasons why there are no significant impacts;

  (3) any commitments to mitigation measures that are essential to render the impacts of the proposed project insignificant;

  (4) the date of issuance and signature of the executive administrator; and

  (5) the executive administrator's statement that the Applicant has committed to the mitigation measures and that the Applicant has the ability and the authority to fulfill the commitment to mitigation.

(e) Public comments and the issuance of a FONSI.

  (1) The executive administrator shall make the Environmental Assessment and preliminary FONSI available on the Board's website for review and public comment for a period of at least thirty (30) days.

  (2) If no substantive comments are received, the executive administrator may proceed with the proposed project subject to the mitigation measures identified in the FONSI. If substantive comments are received, then the executive administrator shall respond to the comments and revise the FONSI accordingly, if necessary.

  (3) The executive administrator shall ensure that the mitigation measures necessary to the FONSI determination are enforceable and shall conduct appropriate monitoring of these measures. All contracts, plans, specifications, and other applicable documents used during the design and construction of the project shall contain reference to or descriptions of the mitigation measures included in the FONSI, as required by this subchapter.

(f) Dissemination of information about mitigation measures. The executive administrator may provide written notification describing the outcome of the mitigation measure proposed in an environmental finding to interested agencies and public groups.

Source Note: The provisions of this §375.64 adopted to be effective July 4, 2016, 41 TexReg 4853

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