chapter  20
14 Pages


The National Environmental Policy Act 1969 (NEPA) has become part of the US environmental furniture - a comfortable support, which is now taken for granted. NEPA has prevented inappropriate projects from being implemented and improved others but broadening the coverage of NEPA to cover other actions would provoke a constitutional outcry. Increasing the centrality of EIA to the decision-making process could be achieved by amending NEPA to prohibit an action from being taken unless all feasible mitigation measures were included in the proposal (Blumm, 1990). Such a solution could be applied following both an EIS and a finding of no significant impact (FONS!). This would go some way to achieving the initial intention of NEPA's authors (Yost, 1990; Caldwell, 1998). However, any current attempt to modifY NEPA would expose it to the risk of being weakened, not strengthened, by Congress.