Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic

Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic

A Guide to Best Practice

Timo Koivurova, Pamela Lesser, Sonja Bickford, Paula Kankaanpää and Marina Nenasheva

Significant growth in economic activity in the Arctic has added weight to the argument that projects must be developed responsibly and sustainably. Addressing growing concerns regarding the exploitation of the Arctic’s natural resources, this timely book presents and evaluates examples of best practice in Arctic environmental impact assessment.

Chapter 10: USA

Timo Koivurova, Pamela Lesser, Sonja Bickford, Paula Kankaanpää and Marina Nenasheva

Subjects: environment, corporate social responsibility, energy policy and regulation, environmental governance and regulation, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law


The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the federal legislation which guides the EIA process in the United States. Most states, including Alaska, do not have their own EIA legislation, but use NEPA. Congress enacted NEPA in December 1969; it was signed into law on 1 January 1970 and is listed as 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. (CEQ 2007; EPA 2015). To implement the policies, NEPA requires federal agencies to undertake an assessment of the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions regarding implementation. Two major purposes of this environmental review process are better informed decisions and citizen involvement, both of which should lead to implementation of NEPA’s policies (CEQ 2007). According to Hendry et al. (2004), NEPA provides a framework for incorporating human values and place-based identity into the decision-making process, therefore giving those who must bear the physical, biological and social environmental consequences of governmental policy and land-use decisions the best possible information to make those required decisions about proposed projects.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information