Gather Information (4.38(b)-(c) ))
Many exemptions and small, low-impact projects can be developed without the need to conduct extensive environmental studies. Often the environmental effects of an exemption or low-impact project are minor and existing information can be used to characterize the existing environment in the proposed project area.
Depending on a project's scope and complexity, however, an applicant may need to gather further information to fill information gaps. If a study is needed, an applicant must develop the study in consultation with stakeholders. Stakeholders have 60 days from the date of the applicant's joint meeting to submit comments and study requests to the applicant (they should also be filed with the Commission .
Should an applicant, agency, or a tribe disagree on any needed studies, we encourage the entities to refer the disagreement to the Commission for resolution. It is especially important to do this early in the pre-filing stages rather than to wait until an application is filed, as this could lead to delays in processing the application. For informal help to resolve issues, applicants can contact the FERC staff assigned to their region. The Commission's Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) is also available to help facilitate meetings and resolve disputes among participants, if needed.
For more information about DRS, see: http://www.ferc.gov/about/offices/oaljdr/drs.asp