NEPA and the Importance of Getting the Public Involvement Right
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In enacting NEPA, Congress recognized that nearly all Federal activities affect the environment in some way and mandated that, before Federal agencies make decisions, they must consider the effects of their actions on the quality of the human environment. One of the most critical steps in the process is the planning and execution of the engagement with the public. Public engagement aims to encourage meaningful public input and involvement in the process to better inform the evaluation of the environmental impacts and lead agency decision-making resulting from proposed Federal actions. Even though this is routine practice for many NEPA practitioners, the full potential for more actively identifying and engaging agencies and the public at large in collaborative environmental analysis and federal decision-making is rarely realized. Trends suggest that the government is moving toward earlier public involvement to ensure better outcomes of NEPA planning and avoid costly litigations. This paper proposes to study the public engagement process used during a recent Federal action concerning the US Marine Corps Basing of MV-22 and H-1 Aircraft in Hawaii. Detailed analysis will be used to identify lessons learned, best practices, and to make recommendations for improved collaborative outcomes. The author’s personal experience as a member of one of the impacted communities in Hawaii resulting from this specific Federal action will be incorporated into the effort.
SubjectNEPA, Public Involvement
CitationLewandowski, Linda (2012). NEPA and the Importance of Getting the Public Involvement Right. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6028.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Education and Certificate Program Capstone Papers