The NEPA Process

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is the basic national charter for the protection of the environment. NEPA requires that a detailed analysis be prepared if any federal agency is undertaking a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The study must include information regarding potential impacts to the environment that may results from the proposed action and any adverse effects that cannot be avoided if the proposed action is implemented. The study must also include an analysis of possible alternatives to the proposed action and information regarding indirect and cumulative impacts. The final study helps provide agency personnel and other decision makers with the best possible information so that they can make an informed decision regarding the relative merits and detriments of a proposed action. The major components of the NEPA process are as follows:

  • Purpose and Need
  • Alternatives
  • Impacts
  • Mitigation
  • Public Involvement
  • Agency Coordination