Environmental Policy and NEPA: Past, Present and Future
This book includes 22 chapters prepared by 28 authors or co-authors. Three topical themes are utilized: historical trends, current issues, and future opportunities. Chapters 1 to 7 encompass historical trends, with emphasis given to environmental policy and NEPA’s effects on agency decision making (Ch. 2 and 4), the history of the development of NEPA (Ch. 1 and 3), regulations promulgated because of NEPA (Ch. 5), and the unfinished business of NEPA (Ch. 6). Current substantive and conceptual issues focus on cumulative effects (Ch. 8), approaches for avoiding ecological disasters (Ch. 9), and the use of adaptive management in conjunction with continuous monitoring (Ch. 10). The highlights of several court cases related to NEPA are the subject of Ch. 11; while Ch. 12 provides a summary of the 1994-95 CEQ effectiveness study. Chapter 13 focuses on the use of emerging technologies in the NEPA process, and Chapter 14 emphasizes the importance of social impact assessment and associated methodologies. The third section relates to future opportunities; for example, Chapters 15 and 16 address the importance of considering impacts on humans in the EIA process and the need for effective public involvement techniques. Chapter 17 focuses on “alternative dispute resolution” for resolving conflicts. Chapter 18 is related to the need for systematic presentation of information to decision makers in order to facilitate effective decision making. Special relationships that exist between the requirements of NEPA and Indian tribes are the subject of Ch. 19. Chapters 20 and 21 highlight features of sustainability considerations within the EIA process. The final chapter (Ch. 22) is a forum discussion with three respected USA professionals in the environmental policy field.