Problems and Prospects in Local Environmental Assessment:Lessons from the United States
ABSTRACT Local environmental assessment (EA), mandated by five US states, has introduced complex management issues for practitioners and policy makers. Based on a review of statutes, case law, and prior EA evaluations,this paper outlines three key issue areas for local EA: linking comprehensive planning and EA; making the threshold determination process more certain; and balancing mitigation with public participation. The paper argues that all the issues reflect a central tension in environmentalassessment between procedural consistency and the need for contingent responses to conditions that differ among the projects to be reviewed.
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