There are several opportunities for public participation during the process of developing the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Negotiated Rulemaking and ORV Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the regulations that will implement the plan. We encourage you to read the documents published on this website and share your ideas with us.

While your comments are welcome at any time, they will be most useful during public scoping (Step 5 below) and document review periods (Step 11).

The steps listed below describe the planning process. Those marked (NEPA) are steps in the National Environmental Policy Act environmental planning process. Those marked (Reg-Neg) are steps in the Negotiated Rulemaking Act negotiated rulemaking process. Those marked (APA) are steps in the Administrative Procedures Act process for promulgating a regulation. Use of the NEPA and APA processes is required by those laws. The negotiated rulemaking process is optional and supplements, but does not substitute for, the NEPA and APA processes.

The negotiated rulemaking process begins with a feasibility assessment to help the NPS decide if the process is feasible and in the public interest. IF A DECISION IS MADE TO ESTABLISH A NEGOTIATED RULEMAKING COMMITTEE, THEN ADDITIONAL STEPS FOR THAT PROCESS WILL BE ADDED TO THE STEPS BELOW.

To maximize efficiency and interchange of information, as much as possible the processes will run concurrently rather than sequentially. For more information on the NEPA, APA, and negotiated rulemaking processes, please use the links in the "Documents & Links" section. The order of the steps below reflects current NPS planning. However, delays or changes to the process may occur as the project moves forward. NPS will keep the steps updated throughout the process.

* indicates the current step in the planning process
Step 1. Internal Scoping (NEPA)
Step 2. Selection of the neutral to conduct the feasibility assessment with interested party input (Reg-Neg)
Step 3. Stakeholder interviews for the Feasibility Assessment (Reg-Neg)
Step 4. Publication in the Federal Register of a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (NEPA)
Step 5. Public Scoping--opportunities to comment on the purpose, need, objectives and any preliminary alternatives via email, meetings, letters, etc. (NEPA)
Step 6. NPS preliminary determination whether to proceed with negotiated rulemaking process, IF THE DECISION IS YES THEN ADDITIONAL REG-NEG STEPS WILL BE ADDED AT THAT TIME (Reg-Neg)
Step 7. Public Meeting to Present Results of the Feasibility Assessment (Reg-Neg)
Step 8. Preparation of draft plan/environmental impact statement (NEPA)
Step 9. Publication in the Federal Register of Notice of Availability of draft plan/environmental impact statement (NEPA)
Step 10. Publication in the Federal Register of the Proposed Regulation (APA)
Step 11. Sixty day public comment periods on the draft plan/environmental Impact statement and on the proposed rule (NEPA and APA) (expected to run concurrently)
Step 12. Analysis of Public Comments on Draft Plan/EIS and Proposed Rule (NEPA and APA)
Step 13. Prepare final plan/environmental impact statement (NEPA)
Step 14. Publish Notice of Availablility of final environmental impact statement in the Federal Register (NEPA)
Step 15. Publish Record of Decision or a summary of it in the Federal Register (NEPA)
Step 16. Prepare final regulation and publish in the Federal Register (APA) *