Commenting on the Dairy Syncline EIS
Opportunities for involvement
Public involvement is a very important part of the NEPA Process. The Bureau of Land Management is committed to working with the public to facilitate their input as much as possible. We welcome all comments on the EIS.
There are multiple chances during the EIS process to provide input. These include:
• The 30 day scoping period and initial scoping meetings and
• The 45 day comment period on the Draft EIS.
• The 30 day availability period after the Final EIS is published.
Comments on the project will be accepted at any time and our best effort will be made to insure that all comments are taken into consideration. However, comments received outside the formal comment periods may not be incorporated into the process or formally addressed in subsequent documents at the discretion of the agency.
All substantive comments received during the initial scoping period will be analyzed in a scoping report. They will be used to identify the major issues that need to be addressed by the EIS and to help formulate alternatives. All substantive comments received during the comment period on the Draft EIS will be formally addressed in the Final EIS. Substantive comments received on the Final EIS may be addressed in the ROD at the discretion of the agency.
What is a Substantive Comment
“Substantive comments are those that suggest the analysis is flawed in a specific way. Generally they challenge the accuracy of information presented, challenge the adequacy, methodology or assumptions of the environmental or social analysis (with supporting rationale), present new information relevant to the analysis, or present reasonable alternatives (including mitigation) other than those presented in the document. Such substantive comments may lead to changes or revisions in the analysis or in one or more of the alternatives.” (NEPA Web Guide)
Substantive comments do one or more of the following (From the NEPA Handbook)
• Question, with reasonable basis, the accuracy of information in the EIS.
• Question, with reasonable basis, the adequacy of, methodology for, or assumption used for the environmental analysis.
• Present new information relevant to the analysis.
• Present reasonable alternatives other than those analyzed in the EIS.
• Cause changes or revisions in one or more of the alternatives.
Comments that are not considered substantive include the following (From the NEPA Handbook)
• Comments in favor of or against the proposed action or alternatives without reasoning that meets the criteria listed above (such as “we disagree with Alternative Two and believe the BLM should select Alternative Three”).
• Comments that only agree or disagree with BLM policy or resource decisions without justification or supporting data that meet the criteria listed above (such as “more grazing should be permitted”).
• Comments that don’t pertain to the project area or the project ( such as” the government should eliminate all dams” when the project is about a grazing permit).
• Comments that take the form of vague or open ended questions.
Comments received, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this Proposed Action and will be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered. Pursuant to 7 CFR 1.27(d), any person may request the agency withhold a submission from the public record by showing how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits such confidentiality. Persons requesting such confidentiality should be aware that, under FOIA, confidentiality may be granted in only very limited circumstances, such as to protect trade secrets. The agencies will inform the requester of the agencies' decision regarding the request for confidentiality; and where the request is denied; the agencies will return the submission and notify the requester that the comments may be resubmitted with or without name and address within ten days.
The BLM and Forest Service believe that it is important to give reviewers notice of several court rulings related to public participation in the environmental review process. First, reviewers of draft EISs must structure their participation in the environmental review of the proposal so that it is meaningful and alerts an agency to the reviewer's position and contentions (Velmont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. NRDC, 435 U.S. 519,553 (1978)). Also, environmental objections that could be raised at the draft EIS stage but that are not raised until after completion of the final EIS may be waived or dismissed by the courts (City of Angoon v. Hodel, 803 F. 2d 1016, 1022 (9th Cir. 1986), and Wisconsin Heritages, Inc. v Harris, 490 F. Supp. 1334, 1338 (E.D. Wis. 1980)). It is very important, because of these court rulings, that those interested in this Proposed Action participate by the close of the 45-day comment period for the draft EIS so that substantive comments and objections are made available to the BLM and FS at a time when they can meaningfully consider and respond to the comments in the final EIS. In addition, the courts may require participation in the comment process in order to establish a party’s standing to protest the Record of Decision after it is signed.
Where to submit comments
Please mail, email, or fax all comments to:
Bureau of Land Management-Pocatello Field Office
Dairy Syncline EIS Project Manager
4350 Cliffs Drive
Pocatello, ID 83204
If you would like to be added to our project mailing list please send an email or letter to the address above.