The Importance of Adequately Addressing Alternatives: Identification and Analysis in Environmental Impact Assessment

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2009-11-02

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Abstract

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into United States Law in 1969 for the purpose of establishing the requirement for adequate environmental analysis of projects occurring on Federal lands or via the utilization of Federal funds. Key to this process is the identification and analysis of viable and feasible alternatives to a proposed action, to include the “No Action Alternative,” often utilized as the baseline against which the potential effects of alternatives are compared (32 CFR 651.7). Screening criteria utilized to develop a proposed action and its alternatives must be presented in clear and concise terms, in order to ensure the public and regulatory community understands the alternative development process. The document must also clearly explain why some alternatives are carried forward for detailed review and analysis, while others are eliminated from further review. Recent litigation has highlighted the significance of the failure to either adequately identify alternatives to a proposed action or to pay due attention to the No Action Alternative. Investigation and discussion of the alternative development and analysis process, as illustrated in several recent court cases, will be the focus of this paper.

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Kendrick, Melissa (2009). The Importance of Adequately Addressing Alternatives: Identification and Analysis in Environmental Impact Assessment. Capstone paper, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/3228.


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