Having Your Voice Heard: How to Effectively Get the Agency's Attention in a NEPA Comment to Affect the Final Decision
National Environmental Policy Act 9-1 (Rocky Mt. Min. L. Fdn. 2017)
10 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 3, 2017
Public participation in federal agency National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes presents a unique opportunity for engagement in federal agency decision making on projects that have the potential to affect the environment. It presents an opportunity for public transparency of proposed federal agency actions and the environmental impacts of those actions. More importantly, it presents an opportunity for the public to assist the federal agencies in crafting better, more informed, decisions. While public participation was not specifically mentioned as a goal of NEPA, federal courts have regularly held that public comment and public involvement lies at the center of NEPA’s procedural requirements and is critical to NEPA’s function.
However, engaging in the NEPA process can be a time-consuming endeavor. If you undertake that endeavor, you want to make sure your voice is being heard and your comments are affecting positive change. This article is offered to highlight the legal requirements for public participation and comment throughout the NEPA process and offer suggestions on how to have your voice heard by offering comments that effectively get the agency’s attention and influence a final decision.
Keywords: National Environmental Policy Act, Public Comments, Public Participation, NEPA, Final Decision, Environmental Impact Statement
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