Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 1999


Published in Great Plains Research 9 (Spring 1999). Copyright © 1999 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


This book offers a great deal of information and insight regarding the way the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) works, or fails to work, or does not work as well as it should. Comprised of twenty-two chapters written by twenty-eight authors and co-authors, it presents a variety of viewpoints from people who bring different kinds of experience to their analyses, including six academicians and eight federal government agency workers. Some see NEPA as a law that brought fundamental change to the way federal agencies make decisions on proposed actions that may affect the environment; some see it as a law that has not lived up to its potential because federal officials regard it as a compliance requirement rather than a decision-making tool. Most of the authors appear to agree with both observations, some more explicitly than others, and present different kinds of recommendations for making NEPA work better.