Wendy B. Davis


This article suggests an enhanced role for the EPA and the other agencies that have authority to protect our natural resources, including the FWS, NPS, and others. These agencies should have authority to evaluate the environmental assessments leading to a FONSI and require preparation of an EIS pursuant to NEPA. This paper also suggests that these agencies need more authority in the substantive decision of choice of an alternative action pursuant to the EIS, and the determination of whether the proposed action should proceed based on the conclusions in the EIS. This could be accomplished with an amendment to the statute; however, the Author acknowledges that this would necessitate an increase in the EPA budget and potentially significantly more bureaucratic time and effort for construction projects. It should be noted that the current NEPA procedure may be less cost efficient than the Author’s suggestion. Centralization of such environmental analysis in the EPA is likely to result in significant cost savings, although the budget would be shifted from other agencies to the EPA.