Local Environment Impact Statements: The State of the Art

  • December 21, 1977
  • • Written by: Robert W. Burchell David Listokin 

Winter 1977, Vol 2, No 2

Abstract: In 1973 over 2,000 environmental impact statements (EISs) were prepared in the United States. The number has since increased and the entire impact statement process has grown in complexity. Once required only by the federal government, impact statements have more recently become quite prevalent at the local level. The advent of the EIS has been hailed by some local planners as long overdue and criticized by others as cumbersome and counterproductive. This article examines the evolution of the local EIS procedure, what it currently consists of, and its likely future direction. It discusses the context of the environmental review process and the progeny of the current array of environmental legislation, describes the EIS participants at the local level, and analyzes the style and content of the local environmental impact statements. The authors conclude by summarizing emerging conflicts over EIS and considering the future EIS evolution and emphasis.