Frequent Questions

If an EPA regional office finds that a permit may not have significant public health or environmental impacts, or may not impact an already overburdened community, can the permit still be prioritized for enhanced outreach? Will the permit receive any outr

EPA regional offices have the discretion to use other considerations to prioritize EPA-issued permits for enhanced outreach that do not meet either or both of those criteria. One important consideration would be whether a community has expressed concerns over a permit application or renewal. EPA regional offices may consider prioritizing such permits and may tailor the engagement of the community in proportion to the actual health or environmental impacts or public concerns expressed over the permitted activity. However, given resource constraints, EPA expects that it will only infrequently provide enhanced outreach for permitted activities in response to public concerns in the absence of information about potential significant public health or environmental impacts. Further, the enhanced outreach activities for a permitted activity that does not have significant public health or environmental impacts will not necessarily be the same as those for a permitted activity that has significant public health or environmental impacts. EPA intends to tailor enhanced outreach to the particular circumstances to most effectively utilize the time and resources of EPA as well as communities and permit applicants. Similarly, EPA may, on occasion, prioritize a permitted activity for enhanced outreach due to its significant impacts even though it does not impact an overburdened community.

EPA emphasizes that EPA will still comply with all applicable public participation requirements established by the relevant statutes and regulations whether to not the permit is prioritized for enhanced outreach. But EPA-issued permits that are not prioritized for enhanced outreach may not receive the supplemental activities described in EPA Actions as enhanced outreach.

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