ABSTRACT

The National Environmental Policy Act Process (NEPA process) offers a comprehensive and mature method of decision making to the leaders in government and industry. The NEPA process has matured into a useful decision-making technique during the past 17 years. It involves decision making after deliberate evaluation of the technical-economic-environmental-political aspects (with emphasis on environmental impacts) of any major action that would commit the use of the resources of the earth in a major way. In fact, NEPA began because of the question posed by many concerned Americans in the 1960s: is man progressing or regressing? The question may appear philosophical, but it is actually a realistic worry we should face squarely. The human population is constantly increasing, from about 340 million in 1000 A.D. to about 5 billion in 1986 A.D. Human wants and needs have also similarly multiplied. Human life expectancy has increased. These factors have forced the human being to use the resources of the earth at a much faster rate than ever before in our known history.