The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) turned 48 with the new year. I thought it would be a good idea to sit back and ponder whether NEPA has resulted in “environmentally responsible projects” or is just a long-winded compliance exercise, and an expensive one at that. The bigger question is whether we can ever get to a final decision in 2 years instead of 10 years as President Trump is advocating.
IS NEPA WORKING?
Let me spell out what I mean by an “environmentally responsible project." The term is applied to a project proposal whose goal is to incorporate and implement mitigation to reduce or eliminate a majority of adverse impacts. That’s not to say that there are no unavoidable adverse impacts. Such a project would incorporate mitigation as a result of consultation during the NEPA process and/or required by federal and state agencies and implement it in good faith when the project was approved. Read the rest of the article at GAS34_08b Russo.pdf.