Guide to the National Environmental Policy Act: Interpretations, Applications, and Compliance

By Valerie M. Fogleman | Go to book overview

Preface

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a short, broadly written statute that has been interpreted by between one thousand and two thousand published judicial decisions. The act applies to thousands of federal agency actions each year. These agency actions are as diverse as consideration of applications by scientists to field test genetically engineered plants, proposals by land managers to spray herbicides, and proposals by architects and engineers to construct post offices and roads in urban communities.

Because NEPA is so broadly written and because it has such a broad application, it is impossible to understand how to comply with NEPA or how to participate meaningfully in the NEPA process merely by reading the statute. In addition to the statute, NEPA's implementing regulations written by the Council on Environmental Quality must be consulted as well as relevant judicial decisions and occasionally regulations of individuals agencies. This book draws together these various sources of NEPA law and presents the law in a readable format designed to be a practical guide to compliance with the NEPA process as well as a comprehensive legal analysis of every aspect of NEPA law.

The book is intended for several major groups of people. The first group consists of people who must comply with NEPA: federal agency personnel; contractors and consultants hired by the agencies to aid in the NEPA process; and applicants for federal permits, funding, and approval. The second group consists of public interest groups and members of the general public who wish to participate in the NEPA process. The third group includes people and entities involved in NEPA litigation: agency personnel, applicants, environmental organizations, members of the general public, and lawyers retained by

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Guide to the National Environmental Policy Act: Interpretations, Applications, and Compliance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Title Page vii
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Acronyms xv
  • 1 - The National Environmental Policy Act 1
  • 1.1 INTRODUCTION 1
  • Notes 16
  • 2 - Administrative Structure for Implementing Nepa 28
  • Notes 46
  • 3 - Threshold Determinations 56
  • 3.1 INTRODUCTION 56
  • Notes 66
  • 4 - Environmental Assessments 77
  • 4.1 INTRODUCTION 77
  • Notes 95
  • 5 - Environmental Impact Statements 110
  • 5.1 INTRODUCTION 110
  • Notes 142
  • 6 - Nepa Litigation 168
  • 6.1 INTRODUCTION 168
  • Notes 194
  • 7 - State Statutes 213
  • 7.1 INTRODUCTION 213
  • Notes 248
  • Appendix A The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 249
  • Appendix B The Council on Environmental Quality Regulations 257
  • Bibliography 301
  • Index 305
  • About the Author 311
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