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GC 475: Environmental Impact Assessment
Dr. Ron Sundell

"There is more than one place to look for these, and no one source is perfect"

*Locating Environmental Impact Statements Online

General Sources

Catalog of Government Publications
In their Advanced Search, use the following: "final environmental impact statement" OR "final EIS". Publications are sorted new to old, and if any are online, the URL will appear off to the right of the record. NMU might have those that are not online, but they will probably be either in print or microfiche format. You can search the Olson Library catalog in the same fashion.

USA.gov search
USA.gov, the official web portal to the U.S. Government, will search all Federal agency websites (as well as state and local ones). The results may not always lead to an actual EIS. Also search with the phrase "final EIS" or even perhaps FEIS . Clicking on this link will automatically search for "final environmental impact statement".

Specific Agencies

All Federal agencies can issue an EIS, but the agencies listed below are your best bet.

Environmental Protection Agency’s National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)
Go to the advanced search screen, search using "final environmental impact statement" (or "final EIS" in a separate search)-don't forget to select exact phrase. Uncheck the "Hardcopy Publications" box. You might also need to select additional dates. Documents can be downloaded in .pdf format.

Also from the EPA is the EIS Mapper. A state-by-state search, and download, of Environmental Impact Statements created since 2004.

Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy.
For each of these agencies, conduct two separate searches in the search box: “final environmental impact statement”, “final EIS”. The results will appear to mimic those of the USA.gov search, but will contain additional resources.

And look locally--websites for city, township, county: do they have an EIS available online for a current or finished project?

*This is an imperfect way of locating online, full-text environmental impact statements. The links you find may not have an EIS at all; it may be just mentioning one.

Obtaining hardcopies of Environmental Impact Statements

There are two different ways to search the Olson Library catalog: A title search for "final environmental impact statement", or, a subject search for "environmental impact statements". Remember that the catalog is shared with 3 other schools in the UP, so you might want to limit your search to NMU. Also, many of the EIS's that you locate may be in microfilm format.

The EPA has instructions for obtaining an Environmental Impact Statement from elsewhere off their National Environmental Policy Act website.

Environmental Impact Statement Writing Resources--Federal and State

The Environmental Style: Writing Environmental Assessments & Impact Statements. From the U.S. Department of Energy. And a similar webpage from the National Parks Service.

Michigan DOT Environmental Impact Statement process.

California Department of Transportation EIS Guidelines.

University of Alaska-Fairbanks Cooperative Extension: How To Write Impact Statements.

Need Further Assistance?

Stop by the Reference Desk for further assistance with any of these sources.  You can also contact the Reference Desk through live chat or by phone at 227-2294.



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