A Simple But Fundamental Step: Put All EISs & EAs on the Web

5 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2010

See all articles by Daniel A. Farber

Daniel A. Farber

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Marc L. Miller

University of Arizona College of Law

Date Written: November 5, 2010

Abstract

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 is a notably short piece of legislation. But short as it is, NEPA reveals a belief that encouraging more complete information on the environmental costs and benefits of government actions will lead to better decisions. Implicit as well is a belief that government and public participation will lead to more accountable and hence more democratic decision-making. Astoundingly the basic documents of environmental assessment under NEPA - Environmental Assessments (EAs) (including so-called "FONSIs" findings of no significant impact) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) are not readily and universally available to the public. If NEPA were enacted in 2010 - indeed if it had been enacted at any point after the internet has become a central method of information exchange - there is little doubt the Congress would have required that all assessment documents be made available on the internet. It is time to take a simple but fundamental step and bring NEPA into the internet age. Every EA and every EIS should be placed on line in full text, and in a searchable format.

Keywords: NEPA, transparency, Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Statements

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Farber, Daniel A. and Miller, Marc Louis, A Simple But Fundamental Step: Put All EISs & EAs on the Web (November 5, 2010). Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 10-41. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1703624 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1703624

Daniel A. Farber

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

Boalt Hall
Room 894
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
510-642-0340 (Phone)
510-642-3728 (Fax)

Marc Louis Miller (Contact Author)

University of Arizona College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States
520-621-1498 (Phone)

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