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What are environmental impact statements?

An environmental impact statement, or EIS, is a type of government document that outlines the impact of a proposed project on its surrounding environment. The National Environmental Protection Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires Federal agencies to conduct environmental assessments, which often produce EISs, when their actions significantly affect the environment. State and local agencies frequently require environmental assessments and also produce EISs.

EISs inform the work and decisions of policymakers and community leaders, and typically follow a process in which an environmental assessment is conducted, a draft EIS is developed, public hearings on the draft EIS are held, and a final EIS is produced.

Because they are not published through mainstream channels, environmental impact statements can be challenging to locate. This guide is designed to help you locate environmental impact statements from Federal and other sources. The University of Minnesota Libraries collects EISs and they can be found in several campus libraries, but given the number of EISs that are produced, campus libraries may only be a starting point for locating the EIS you seek.

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Last Updated: Apr 17, 2024 10:06 AM