Weathering NEPA Review: Superstorms and Super Slow Urban Recovery
51 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2014 Last revised: 10 Dec 2014
Date Written: 2014
Delays in implementing long-term neighborhood housing recovery measures following urban disasters profoundly disrupt a city's revitalization and resurgence. Following recent large-scale urban disasters, some blame the National Environmental Policy Act environmental and historical review requirement for greatly slowing the long-term recovery process. They claim that the National Environmental Policy Act review is ill suited for the exigencies of disasters. Finding effective ways to advance urban disaster recovery as quickly as possible, while not compromising key environmental quality objectives, is a central challenge to implementing effective post-disaster recovery plans. This Article addresses how best to balance necessary regulation with critical disaster recovery objectives. Drawing on long-term recovery lessons from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and most recently, Hurricane Sandy, this Article articulates five principles that the federal government should incorporate in a new Unified Federal Review process.
Keywords: environmental law, disaster recovery, NEPA, National Environmental Policy Act, urban recovery, hurricanes, environmental review, environmental impact
JEL Classification: K19, K32, K39, Q28, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation