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Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental Impact Assessment, Conducting An Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Effects Monitoring

In the United States, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to file an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for any major project or legislative proposal that may have significant environmental effects. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "NEPA requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. To meet this requirement, federal agencies prepare a detailed statement known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)." An EIS requires a federal agency to consider the environmental consequences of a proposed project, including air, water, and soil pollution; ecosystem disruption; overuse of shared water, fishery, agricultural, mineral, and forest resources; disruption of endangered species' habitat; and threats to human health. While an EIS prompts an organization to disclose the environmental effects of their project before beginning construction or development, and to suggest ways to avoid adverse impacts, the document does not, in itself, prevent federal agencies from polluting, or otherwise endangering ecological and human health. An EIS is intended to help federal regulators and environmental compliance agencies determine whether the proposed development will violate environmental laws. United States environmental policy does not require corporations or individuals to file EIS documents, but it does expect private sector developments to comply with federal, state and local environmental and public health regulations.

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