"This guidance is written particularly with respect to the needs of small, rural communities and the consideration of individual on-site and small scale technologies. It suggests procedures which may be utilized to minimize the time, effort, and expense necessary to demonstrate facilities needs. It is also intended to provide guidance pertaining to the selection of decentralization alternatives for a cost-effectiveness comparison. It is intended to prevent indiscriminate definition of need based upon "broad brush" use of a single criterion or on decisions unsupported by fact ... This guidance is predicated on the premise that planning expenditures should be commensurate with the cost and risk of implementing feasible alternatives for a specific planning area. The guidance further recognizes the complexity of planning alternative technology. It presents procedures for, and rationally limits, the amount of detailed site investigation necessary to determine the suitability of alternative technology for specific areas within the community, and allows for a degree of risk inherent to limited data gathering."--Objective.