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APHIS and USDA units, and other government agencies.

(d) Environmental Documentation. (1) Planning, producing, and analyzing all environmental documentation relative to compliance with the NEPA and other environmental laws. This documentation includes but is not limited to environmental assessments, environmental impact statements, and records of decisions.

(2) Ensuring agency compliance with NEPA.

(3) Conducting public hearings and analyzing comments on agency NEPA regulations and conducting agency scoping hearings relating to environmental impact statements.

(4) Serving as liaison with the Department's Office of the General Counsel on matters pertaining to NEPA-related documents and other environmental laws.

$371.14 Delegations of authority.

(a) Associate Administrator. The Associate Administrator is delegated the authority to perform all the duties and to exercise all the functions and powers that are now, or that may become, vested in the Administrator, including the power of redelegation except where prohibited, and including authority reserved to the Administrator in §371.16 of this part. The Associate Administrator is also authorized to act for the Administrator in the absence of the Administrator.

(b) Deputy Administrators and Directors. The Deputy Administrators of PPQ, VS, ADC, M&B, REAC, and IS, and the Directors of PPD, R&D, LPA, S&T, and BBEP, and the officers they designate to act for them-with prior specific approval of the Administrator-are delegated the authority, severally, to perform all duties and to exercise all the functions and powers that are now, or that may become vested in the Administrator (including the power of redelegation, except where prohibited) except authority that is reserved to the Administrator. Each Deputy Administrator or Director shall be responsible for the programs and activities in APHIS assigned to that Deputy Administrator or Director.

(c) PPQ, VS, ADC, REAC, M&B, S&T, REAC, and IS. The Directors of Oper

ational Support for PPQ, VS, ADC, and IS; the Regional Directors for PPQ, VS, ADC, and IS; the Directors of the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, the Denver Wildlife Research Center, the Plant Methods Development Centers, and the National Monitoring and Residue Analysis Laboratory; and the Assistant Deputy Administrator for REAC are delegated authority in connection with the respective functions assigned to each of them in this part. They are authorized to perform all the duties and exercise all the functions or powers that are now or that may become vested in the Administrator except the authorities reserved to the Administrator or a Deputy Administrator. The Directors of the Budget and Accounting, Human Resources, Administrative Services, and Information Systems and Communications Divisions, Resource Management Systems and Evaluation Staff, the Field Servicing Office, Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights, and Equal Opportunity Counseling are delegated authority in connection with the respective functions assigned to each of them in this part to perform all the duties and exercise all the functions and powers that are now or that may become vested in the Administrator except the authorities reserved to the Administrator or Deputy Administrator.

(d) Area Veterinarians in Charge, VS. Area Veterinarians in Charge of VS programs are delegated authority to:

(1) Issue exemptions to facilities or premises from the requirements of section 4 of the Swine Health protection Act pursuant to section 4(b) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 3803), and

(2) Issue permits to operate facilities to treat garbage pursuant to section (5)(a) of the Swine Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 3804).

§371.15 Concurrent authority and responsibility to the Administrator. (a) No delegation or authorization in this part shall preclude the Administrator or each Deputy Administrator or Director from exercising any of the powers or functions or from performing any of the duties conferred upon each,

respectively. Any delegation or authorization is subject at all times to withdrawal or amendment by the Administrator, and in their respective fields, by each Deputy Administrator or Director. The Officers to whom authority is delegated in this part shall:

(1) Maintain close working relationships with the officers to whom they report,

(2) Keep them advised with respect to major problems and developments, and

(3) Discuss with them proposed actions involving major policy questions or other important considerations or questions including matters involving relationships with other federal agencies, other agencies of the Department, other divisions and staffs or offices of the agency or other governmental or private organizations or groups.

(b) Prior authorizations and delegations. All prior delegations and redelegations of authority relating to any functions, program, or activity covered by the Statement of Organization, Functions and Delegations of Authority, shall remain in effect except as they are inconsistent with this part or are amended or revoked. Nothing in this part shall affect the validity of any action taken previously under prior delegations or redelegations of authority or assignments of functions. §371.16 Reservation of authority.

The following are reserved to the Administrator, or to the individual designated to act for the Administrator:

(a) The initiation, change, or discontinuance of major program activities.

(b) The issuance of regulations pursuant to law.

(c) The transfer of functions between Deputy Administrators or Directors.

(d) The transfer of funds between Deputy Administrators or Directors.

(e) The transfer of funds between work projects within each Deputy Administrator's or Director's area, except those not exceeding 10 percent of base funds or $50,000 in either work project, whichever is less.

(f) The approval of any change in the formal organization, including a section, its equivalent, or higher level.

(g) The making of recommendations to the Department concerning estab

lishment, consolidation, change in location, or abolishment of any regional, state, area, and other field headquarters, and any region or other program area that involves two or more states, or that crosses state lines.

(h) Authority to establish, consolidate, or change a location or abolish any field office or change program area boundaries not included in paragraph (g) of this section.

(i) Approval of all appointments, promotions, and reassignments in GS-14 and GM-14 and above.

(j) Authorization for foreign travel and for attendance at foreign and international meetings, including those held in the United States.

(k) Approval of all appointments, promotions, and reassignments of employees to foreign countries.

(1) Approval of budget estimates.

(m) Authority to determine the circumstances under which commuted traveltime allowances may be paid to employees performing inspection and necessary auxiliary services after normal working hours or on holidays, when these services come within the scope of the Act of August 28, 1950 (7 U.S.C. 2260).

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372.8 Major planning and decision points and public involvement.

372.9 Processing and use of environmental documents.

372.10 Supplementing environmental impact


AUTHORITY: 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; 40 CFR parts 1500-1508; 7 CFR parts 1b, 2.22, 2.80, 371.2, 371.2(m), 371.13(d), and 371.14(b).

SOURCE: 60 FR 6002, Feb. 1, 1995, unless otherwise noted.

$372.1 Purpose.

These procedures implement section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act by assuring early and adequate consideration of environmental factors in Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service planning and decisionmaking and by promoting the effective, efficient integration of all relevant environmental requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act. The goal of timely, relevant environmental analysis will be secured principally by adhering to the National Environmental Policy Act implementing regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), especially provisions pertaining to timing (§1502.5), integration (§ 1502.25), and scope of (§ 1508.25).

$372.2 Designation

APHIS official.




The Administrator of APHIS, or an agency official to whom the Administrator may formally delegate the task, is responsible for overall review of APHIS' NEPA compliance.

$372.3 Information and assistance.

Information, including the status of studies, and the availability of reference materials, as well as the informal interpretations of APHIS' NEPA procedures and other forms of assistance, will be made available upon request to Environmental Analysis and Documentation, Biotechnology, Biologics, and Environmental Protection, APHIS, USDA, P.O. Drawer 810, Riverdale MD 20738, (301) 436-8565 (Hyattsville) or (301) 734-8565 (Riverdale). $372.4 Definitions.

The terminology set forth in the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) implementing regulations at 40

CFR part 1508 is incorporated herein. In addition, the following terms, as used in these procedures, are defined as follows:

APHIS. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Decisionmaker. The agency official responsible for executing findings of no significant impact in the environmental assessment process and the record of decision in the environmental impact statement process.

Department. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Environmental unit. Environmental Analysis and Documentation, the analytical unit in Biotechnology, Biologics, and Environmental Protection responsible for coordinating APHIS' compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental laws and regulations.

§372.5 Classification of actions.

(a) Actions normally requiring environmental impact statements. This class of policymakings and rulemakings seeks to establish programmatic approaches to animal and plant health issues. Actions in this class typically involve the agency, an entire program, or a substantial program component and are characterized by their broad scope (often global or nationwide) and potential effect (impacting a wide range of environmental quality values or indicators, whether or not affected individuals or systems may be completely identified at the time). Ordinarily, new or untried methodologies, strategies, or techniques to deal with pervasive threats to animal and plant health are the subjects of this class of actions. Alternative means of dealing with those threats usually have not been well developed. Actions in this class include:

(1) Formulation of contingent response strategies to combat future widespread outbreaks of animal and plant diseases; and

(2) Adoption of strategic or other long-range plans that purport to adopt for future program application a preferred course of action.

(b) Actions normally requiring environmental assessments but not necessarily environmental impact statements. This class of APHIS actions may involve the

agency as a whole or an entire program, but generally is related to a more discrete program component and is characterized by its limited scope (particular sites, species, or activities) and potential effect (impacting relatively few environmental values or systems). Individuals and systems that may be affected can be identified. Methodologies, strategies, and techniques employed to deal with the issues at hand are seldom new or untested. Alternative means of dealing with those issues are well established. Mitigation measures are generally available and have been successfully employed. Actions in this class include:

(1) Policymakings and rulemakings that seek to remedy specific animal and plant health risks or that may affect opportunities on the part of the public to influence agency environmental planning and decisionmaking. Examples of this category of actions include:

(i) Development of program plans that seek to adopt strategies, methods, and techniques as the means of dealing with particular animal and plant health risks that may arise in the future;

(ii) Implementation of program plans at the site-specific, action level, except for actions that are categorically excluded, as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) Planning, design, construction, or acquisition of new facilities, or proposals for modifications to existing facilities.

(3) Disposition of waste and other hazardous or toxic materials at laboratories and other APHIS facilities, except for actions that are categorically excluded, as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

(4) Approvals and issuance of permits for proposals involving genetically engineered or nonindigenous species, except for actions that are categorically excluded, as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

(5) Research or testing that:

(i) Will be conducted outside of a laboratory or other containment area (field trials, for example); or

(ii) Reaches a stage of development (e.g., formulation of premarketing strategies) that forecasts an irretriev

able commitment to the resulting products or technology.

(c) Categorically excluded actions. This class of APHIS actions shares many of the same characteristics-particularly in terms of the extent of program involvement, as well as the scope, effect of, and the availability of alternatives to proposed actions-as the class of actions that normally requires environmental assessments but not necessarily environmental impact statements. The major difference is that the means through which adverse environmental impacts may be avoided or minimized have actually been built right into the actions themselves. The efficacy of this approach generally has been established through testing and/or monitoring. The Department of Agriculture has also promulgated a listing of categorical exclusions that are applicable to all agencies within the department unless their procedures provide otherwise. Those categorical exclusions, codified at 7 CFR 1b.3(a), are entirely appropriate for APHIS. Other actions in this class include:

(1) Routine measures. (i) Routine measures, such as identifications, inspections, surveys, sampling that does not cause physical alteration of the environment, testing, seizures, quarantines, removals, sanitizing, inoculations, control, and monitoring employed by agency programs to pursue their missions and functions. Such measures may include the use-according to any label instructions or other lawful requirements and consistent with standard, published program practices and precautions-of chemicals, pesticides, or other potentially hazardous or harmful substances, materials, and target-specific devices or remedies, provided that such use meets all of the following criteria (insofar as they may pertain to a particular action):

(A) The use is localized or contained in areas where humans are not likely to be exposed, and is limited in terms of quantity, i.e., individualized dosages and remedies;

(B) The use will not cause contaminants to enter water bodies, including wetlands;

(C) The use does not adversely affect any federally protected species or critical habitat; and

(D) The use does not cause bioaccumulation.

(ii) Examples of routine measures include:

(A) Inoculation or treatment of discrete herds of livestock or wildlife undertaken in contained areas (such as a barn or corral, a zoo, an exhibition, or an aviary);

(B) Pesticide treatments applied to infested plants at a nursery; and

(C) Isolated (for example, along a highway) weed control efforts.

(2) Research and development activities. (i) Activities that are carried out in laboratories, facilities, or other areas designed to eliminate the potential for harmful environmental effects-internal or external-and to provide for lawful waste disposal.

(ii) Examples of this category of actions include:

(A) The development and/or production (including formulation, repackaging, movement, and distribution) of previously approved and/or licensed program materials, devices, reagents, and biologics;

(B) Research, testing, and development of animal repellents; and

(C) Development and production of sterile insects.

(3) Licensing and permitting. (i) Issuance of a license, permit, or authorization to ship for field testing previously unlicensed veterinary biological products;

(ii) Permitting, or acknowledgment of notifications for, confined field releases of genetically engineered organisms and products; and

(iii) Permitting of:

(A) Importation of nonindigenous species into containment facilities,

(B) Interstate movement of nonindigenous species between containment facilities, or

(C) Releases into a State's environment of pure cultures of organisms that are either native or are established introductions.

(4) Rehabilitation of facilities. Rehabilitation of existing laboratories and other APHIS facilities, functional re

placement of parts and equipment, and minor additions to such existing APHIS facilities.

(d) Exceptions for categorically excluded actions. Whenever the decisionmaker determines that a categorically excluded action may have the potential to affect "significantly" the quality of the "human environment," as those terms are defined at 40 CFR 1508.27 and 1508.14, respectively, an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement will be prepared. For example:

(1) When any routine measure, the incremental impact of which, when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions (regardless of what agency or person undertakes such actions), has the potential for significant environmental impact;

(2) When a previously licensed or approved biologic has been subsequently shown to be unsafe, or will be used at substantially higher dosage levels or for substantially different applications or circumstances than in the use for which the product was previously approved;

(3) When a previously unlicensed veterinary biological product to be shipped for field testing contains live microorganisms or will not be used exclusively for in vitro diagnostic testing;

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