In Defense of Nepa: The Case of the Legacy Parkway

22 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2015

See all articles by Robert W. Adler

Robert W. Adler

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: 2006


The Legacy Parkway NEPA process is notable more for its flaws than for its strengths. It took far longer than intended, was fraught with divisive controversy, and ultimately the FEIS was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Despite all of those problems, however, in the end the NEPA process (and the accompanying Clean Water Act analysis) served its intended purposes. It facilitated a broader public discussion of the values at stake in the controversy, and a wider consideration of alternatives. Litigation is never the preferred way to resolve disputes, and can be expensive, time-consuming, and even painful. The end result, however, was a project that will better serve the transportation needs of the corridor, but with less impact to the internationally significant wetlands and wildlife resources in the Great Salt Lake ecosystem. Examples such as Legacy should prompt the House NEPA Task Force to reconsider its recommendations, many of which would thwart rather than foster the most fundamental goals of NEPA.

Suggested Citation

Adler, Robert W., In Defense of Nepa: The Case of the Legacy Parkway (2006). Journal of Land, Resources & Environmental Law, Vol. 26, 2006, Available at SSRN: or

Robert W. Adler (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

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Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
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