This project will follow the regulations set forth in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Congress enacted NEPA in December, 1969, and President Nixon signed it into law on January 1, 1970. NEPA was the first major environmental law in the United States and established the country’s national environmental policies.
The ultimate goal of the NEPA process is to foster excellent action that protects, restores, and enhances the environment. This is achieved through the utilization of environmental assessments (EAs) and environmental impact statements (EISs), which provide public officials with relevant information and allow a "hard look" at the potential environmental consequences of each proposed project.
The environmental review process under NEPA provides an opportunity for the public to be involved in the Federal agency decision making process. It helps the public understand what is being proposed, provide an opportunity to offer feedback on ways to accomplish the proposed action, and to provide comments on the project’s analysis on the environmental effects of the proposed action and possible mitigation of potential harmful effects of the action.
NEPA requires Federal agencies to consider environmental effects that include, among others, impacts on social, cultural, and economic resources, as well as natural resources. Citizens have valuable information about the places and resources that they value and the potential environmental, social, and economic effects that the proposed action may have on those places and resources. NEPA’s requirements provide the public a means to work with the agencies and take the public’s information into account.