The Legal Path to Sustainability: The Top Five Reforms Needed for Next-Generation AssessmentsSubmitted By: Richard Lindgren December 22, 2016
The Expert Panel’s forthcoming report on federal environmental assessment (“EA”) offers an important opportunity to develop new legislation that establishes robust, credible, participatory and evidence-based EA processes focused on sustainability. To date, many participants in the Expert Panel hearings have supported the development of “next generation” federal legislation which requires sustainability assessments of environmentally significant projects, plans, policies and programs. In this paper, the author addresses five essential legal reforms which should be reflected in the new federal law: meaningful public participation; strategic and regional assessments; cumulative effects analysis; broad information-gathering; and independent decision-making.
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