Council on Environmental Quality. 1987. 40 Code offederal regulations. Chap. 5, 1 July:929-971. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Mills, G.H. and J.A. Walter. 1978. Technical writing. Dallas, Texas: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.




Cover Sheet


Purpose and Need

Alternatives Including the Proposed Action

Affected Environment

Environmental Consequences

List of Preparers


The cover sheet shall not exceed one page. It shall include a list of the responsible agencies, including the lead agency and any cooperating agencies; the title of the proposed action; the name, address, and telephone number of the person at the agency who can supply further information; a designation of the statement as a draft, final, or draft or final supplement; a one-paragraph abstract of the statement; and the date by which comments must be received.

Each environmental impact statement shall contain a summary which adequately and accurately summarizes the statement. The summary shall stress the major conclusions, areas of controversy (including issues raised by agencies and the public), and the issues to be resolved (including the choice among alternatives). The summary will normally not exceed fifteen pages.

The statement shall briefly specify the underlying purpose and need to which the agency is responding in proposing the alternatives, including the proposed action.

This section is the heart of the environmental impact statement. Based on the information and analysis presented in the sections on the Affected Environment and the Environmental Consequences, it should present the environmental impacts of the proposal and the alternatives in comparative form, thus sharply defining the issues and providing a clear basis for choice among options by the decision maker and the public.

The environmental impact statement shall succinctly describe the environment of the area(s) to be affected or created by the alternatives under consideration. The descriptions shall be no longer than is necessary to understand the effects of the alternatives. Data and analyses in a statement shall be commensurate with the importance of the impact, with less important material summarized, consolidated, or simply referenced. Agencies shall avoid useless bulk in statements and shall concentrate effort and attention on important issues. Verbose descriptions of the affected environment are themselves no measure of the adequacy of an environmental impact statement.

This section forms the scientific and analytic basis for the comparisons of alternatives. The discussion will include the environmental impacts of the alternatives, including the proposed action, any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented, the relationship between short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and any irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposal should it be implemented.

The environmental impact statement shall list the names, together with their qualifications (expertise, experience, professional disciplines), of the persons who were primarily responsible for preparing the environmental impact statement or significant background papers, including basic components of the statement. Where possible, the persons who are responsible for a particular analysis, including analyses in background papers, shall be identified. Normally the list will not exceed two pages.

If an agency prepares an appendix to an environmental impact statement, the appendix shall: (a) consist of material prepared in connection with the EIS; (b) normally consist of material which substantiates any analysis fundamental to the impact statement; (c) normally be analytic and relevant to the decision to be made; and (d) be circulated with the environmental impact statement or be readily available on request.

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