Accession Number : ADA325367

Title :   Challenges to the Adequacy of Environmental Impact Statements.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT INST MCLEAN VA

Personal Author(s) : Woloschuk, Marianne ; Brown, Douglas M.

PDF Url : ADA325367

Report Date : OCT 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 68

Abstract : A federal agency becomes subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) whenever it proposes a 'major action' that will 'significantly affect' the environment. As a procedural statute, NEPA compels an agency to follow procedures, rather than prescribing the particular results an agency should achieve. If an agency's proposed action creates potential environmental consequences, then the agency must develop an environmental impact statement (ElS) that informs the public of the agency's plans, specifies the environmental consequences and lays out the agency's plan for dealing with them. The scope and complexity of the ElS document offers numerous opportunities for outside parties to raise legal challenges over the adequacy of the ElS. This report summarizes the state of law on the subject of ElS adequacy. Because of the framework established by NEPA, challenges generally aim at showing that prescribed procedures were not followed in a complete and adequate manner, rather than at the merits of the ultimate findings of the ElS. However, the actual procedural requirements are fairly clearly established and it is unlikely that a bona fide effort to complete an ElS would fail to meet the basic procedural requirements. In addition, the judiciary almost always defers to the expertise of the agency, so that agency findings of fact are normally ruled to be conclusive if supported by 'substantial' evidence.

Descriptors :   *POLICIES, *ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS, NATIONAL SECURITY, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, PLANNING, FEDERAL LAW.

Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Environmental Health and Safety

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE