The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires major federal actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment to undergo an environmental review prior to federal authorization or funding. The decision to license or permit a project on federal lands is generally considered a major federal action subject to NEPA review. NEPA’s critics allege that the review process delays federal decision making, unduly impedes development, and results in excessive litigation. These claims, however, are not supported by empirical evidence. Using quantitative analyses we challenge four pervasive myths about NEPA compliance and litigation, and we argue that efforts to “streamline” NEPA are likely to have significant unintended consequences.
Ruple, John C. and Tanana, Heather, "Debunking the Myths Behind the NEPA Review Process" (2020). Utah Law Faculty Scholarship. 191.