Before U.S. federal agencies may proceed with a major action, they first must consider the potential effects proposed activities may have on the human, natural, and cultural environments. The National Environmental Policy Act – or NEPA – requires federal agencies to examine the potential environmental effects of their actions to allow for more informed decision-making. One way federal agencies can meet NEPA requirements is to prepare an EIS.
Public involvement is a fundamental aspect of the NEPA process, and there are opportunities for the public to participate in the development of the EIS. Public and agency input allows decision makers to consider community concerns and benefit from local knowledge.