The Environmental Impact Assessment Process in the United States


The National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) requires United States federal administrative agencies to implement procedures for the assessment of the environmental impacts in all discretionary agency decision-making. This landmark statue has served as a legislative model both within the United States, where New York, California, and thirteen other states have adopted analogous laws that govern state and local agencies, and across the world, as other nations have implemented similar procedures. This white paper sets forth the basic process of environmental impact assessment in the United States and describes lessons learned from over forty years of experience under NEPA and under state environmental assessment statues.

(The document is available in Chinese only.)