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National Environmental Policy Act

4. How has passage of the National Environmental Policy Act changed the process by which governmental entities make decisions on public works projects? Give two recommendations for making the NEPA process more effective in attaining its objectives? (20 points)

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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that federally funded or federally permitted projects must perform environmental impact assessments (EAs) to determine if the project will cause environmental damage. If it may, then it also requires an environmental impact statement (EIS). The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has oversight of the Federal government's compliance with NEPA.

Previously, once Congress had authorized a project, administrators felt free to proceed to build roads, dams and buildings without regard for public input or the environment. NEPA forced them to stop and reassess whether the value of the project justified the habitat it would disrupt. When a significant loss of habitat or natural resources was found, steps to mitigate the damage were recommended. The project is then to be monitored to ensure the the ...