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Environmental Impact Studies

It's hard to understand NEPA practice (and practice under its state equivalents) without having some sense of the scale and scope of an EIS. So, to help you get a sense of what NEPA documents are like, we have included a few on this page. The documents here are just an extremely small sampling of the many thousands of NEPA documents that the federal government has produced, and with a little internet searching, you can easily find many more--including, probably, documents addressing projects close to the place where you live.

We have included the following documents here (because they are large documents, they may take some time to download):

The Cape Wind Energy Project FEIS addresses a proposed wind energy farm off the coast of Massachusetts. The proposed project was huge, novel, and controversial. The EIS also is large, even by EIS standards, and you should view this EIS as an example of a particularly large and ambitious document.

Cape Wind FEIS
Cape wind interagency appendix
Cape Wind FEIS public comments appendix

We have included the final EIS itself and two of the many appendices. One appendix addresses interagency correspondence and consultation and the other addresses public comments.

The Bear River Narrows DEIS and FEIS provide an example of a smaller-scale EIS. They also are an example of something uncommon: an EIS that recommends against proceeding with the project. The DEIS and FEIS address a proposed new hydroelectric dam in Idaho. Based partly on this analysis, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied a license for the project.

Bear River Narrows DEIS
Bear River Narrows FEIS

The Proposed Range 71 Desert Operations Area Expansion document is an EA/FONSI, not an EIS. While the document is much shorter than the Cape Wind FEIS, it still is over ninety pages long (some EAs are much longer), and it illustrates the reality that even EAs often take time and effort to prepare.


The last documents in our set pertain to categorical exclusions. The first is a rule, issued by the Forest Service, that finds that certain environmental restoration and rehabilitation projects are eligible for categorical exclusions. The second is a finding by the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency, that a particular project is eligible for a categorical exclusion.

Forest Service CE Rule
BPA Categorical Exclusion

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