(a) To promote informed decision making, comments on an environmental impact statement or on a proposed action shall be as specific as possible, may address either the adequacy of the statement or the merits of the alternatives discussed or both, and shall provide as much detail as necessary to meaningfully participate and fully inform the agency of the commenter's position. Comments should explain why the issues raised are important to the consideration of potential environmental impacts and alternatives to the proposed action, as well as economic and employment impacts, and other impacts affecting the quality of the human environment. Comments should reference the corresponding section or page number of the draft environmental impact statement, propose specific changes to those parts of the statement, where possible, and include or describe the data sources and methodologies supporting the proposed changes.
(b) Comments on the submitted alternatives, information, and analyses and summary thereof (§ 1502.17 of this chapter) should be as specific as possible. Comments and objections of any kind shall be raised within the comment period on the draft environmental impact statement provided by the agency, consistent with § 1506.11 of this chapter. If the agency requests comments on the final environmental impact statement before the final decision, consistent with § 1503.1(b), comments and objections of any kind shall be raised within the comment period provided by the agency. Comments and objections of any kind not provided within the comment period(s) shall be considered unexhausted and forfeited, consistent with § 1500.3(b) of this chapter.
(c) When a participating agency criticizes a lead agency's predictive methodology, the participating agency should describe the alternative methodology that it prefers and why.
(d) A cooperating agency shall specify in its comments whether it needs additional information to fulfill other applicable environmental reviews or consultation requirements and what information it needs. In particular, it shall specify any additional information it needs to comment adequately on the draft statement's analysis of significant site-specific effects associated with the granting or approving by that cooperating agency of necessary Federal permits, licenses, or authorizations.
(e) When a cooperating agency with jurisdiction by law specifies mitigation measures it considers necessary to allow the agency to grant or approve applicable permit, license, or related requirements or concurrences, the cooperating agency shall cite to its applicable statutory authority.