Disclaimer: You have been directed to the updated reference for this information. 516 DM 2.5(G) has been replaced by 43 CFR 46.225(d).
The Department finalized and published its NEPA procedures in the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR Part 46) on October 15, 2008. Previously, the Department’s NEPA procedures were included in Part 516, Chapters 1 – 6 of the DM. Portions of Chapters 1 - 6 that were not converted into the regulations are revised and updated in Chapters 1 – 3 of Part 516 as information and explanatory guidance. Chapter 7 was not included in the final rule because it provides internal administrative guidance specific to Departmental review of environmental documents prepared by other Federal agencies. Chapter 7 is revised and renumbered as Chapter 4.
Click here for full text - 43 CFR Part 46
43 CFR 46.225: How to Select Cooperating Agencies
(a) An “eligible governmental entity” is:
(1) Any Federal agency that is qualified to participate in the development of an environmental impact statement as provided for in 40 CFR 1501.6 and 1508.5 by virtue of its jurisdiction by law, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.15;
(2) Any Federal agency that is qualified to participate in the development of an environmental impact statement by virtue of its special expertise, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.26; or
(3) Any non-Federal agency (State, tribal, or local) with qualifications similar to those in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.
(b) Except as described in paragraph (c) of this section, the Responsible Official for the lead bureau must invite eligible governmental entities to participate as cooperating agencies when the bureau is developing an environmental impact statement.
(c) The Responsible Official for the lead bureau must consider any request by an eligible governmental entity to participate in a particular environmental impact statement as a cooperating agency. If the Responsible Official for the lead bureau denies a request, or determines it is inappropriate to extend an invitation, he or she must state the reasons in the environmental impact statement. Denial of a request or not extending an invitation for cooperating agency status is not subject to any internal administrative appeals process, nor is it a final agency action subject to review under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 701 et seq.
(d) Bureaus should work with cooperating agencies to develop and adopt a memorandum of understanding that includes their respective roles, assignment of issues, schedules, and staff commitments so that the NEPA process remains on track and within the time schedule. Memoranda of understanding must be used in the case of non-Federal agencies and must include a commitment to maintain the confidentiality of documents and deliberations during the period prior to the public release by the bureau of any NEPA document, including drafts.
(e) The procedures of this section may be used for an environmental assessment.