Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2003

Center/Program

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Abstract

In 1970, when the National Environmental Policy Act1 (NEPA) was enacted, the new and exciting information management technologies were the handheld four-function calculator and the eight-track tape cassette. Three decades later, after the personal computer, the digital revolution, and the World Wide Web, the implementation of NEPA is still stuck in the world of 1970. Other aspects of the bureaucracy have seen reform-the E-Government Strategy,2 an E-Government Act,3 the creation of a new Office of Electronic Government within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB),4 and, to focus on the environmental arena, the breathtaking success of the web-based Toxic Release Inventory.5 Yet the storage and dissemination of environmental impact review documents continue on the original, emphatically non-electronic, model. This Article suggests several improvements that can and indeed must be made to the environmental impact review process in light of both the technological and legal developments of the last thirty years.

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