An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a decision making process that allows for a full review of public concerns about a proposed project, such as the Donlin Gold project. A federal agency prepares an
EIS so that decision-makers have a complete picture of the benefits and potential environmental risks before approving a project.
Just as important, the EIS provides opportunities for tribes and local communities to voice their concerns and to understand the potential effects of the proposed project.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires agencies to prepare an EIS when an action may affect the quality of the physical and human environment. The process begins when someone applies for a
federal permit for any activity that can affect the environment, including land, air, water, animals, and communities.
Congress enacted NEPA to make sure that federal agencies take a careful look at a proposed activity, including:
- The ideas and concerns of the public, as stated during Scoping meetings and in review comments on draft documents
- A range of alternatives, including not allowing the proposed activity (no action)
- A thorough scientific study of current conditions and potential effects
Listen here to an interview by KYUK with Shelia Newman, Special Actions Chief of the US Army Corps of Engineers about the EIS Process and Public Comment Period.