NPS Director's Order 12: Conservation Planning, Environmental Impact Analysis and Decision Making
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Congaree Swamp National Monument, SC4.10 Environmental Impact Statements — Terminating the EIS Process

Terminating the EIS process, for purposes of this section, occurs when the preparation of either a draft or a final EIS is stopped. If appropriate (i.e., there is no potential for significant environmental effects), an EA and a FONSI may be issued instead of a draft EIS to satisfy NEPA requirements. Termination may be done without consultation outside NPS following publication of the NOI and before public distribution of the draft EIS. If the draft EIS has been released, NPS should normally proceed to follow the EIS process and respond to comments in a final, unless the proposal is abandoned.

Before a GMP EIS can be terminated, you must obtain the approval of the EQD in Washington. Send enough information to EQD so that the division can reasonably determine whether the implementation of any of the alternatives considered in the GMP/EIS meets the criteria for adequate coverage in an environmental assessment (an in-house draft or its equivalent) (see section 4.4 on actions that normally require an EIS).

If an EIS is terminated, the Regional Director or another responsible NPS official must prepare a Federal Register notice announcing the termination. The notice should include a brief description of the proposal, a reference to the earlier Federal Register NOI, NEPA analysis completed to date, and the reason for terminating the EIS. If the reason for terminating the EIS is the abandonment of the proposal, the Federal Register notice should indicate that the NEPA process will be reinitiated if the proposal is revived at a future date.

If an EA and a FONSI are subsequently prepared and substituted for what was originally envisioned to be a draft EIS, the FONSI must be made available for 30 days' public review before the action may be implemented. (The EA would also be available for its normal 30-day public review before you prepare a FONSI.)

NPS normally should take action to cancel an EIS after the draft EIS has been out for three years without being published in final form.

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