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The National Environmental Policy Act In The Urban Environment: Oxymoron Or A Useful Tool To Combat The Destruction Of Neighborhoods And Urban Sprawl?, Hope M. Babcock Jan 2008

The National Environmental Policy Act In The Urban Environment: Oxymoron Or A Useful Tool To Combat The Destruction Of Neighborhoods And Urban Sprawl?, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

To some, applying the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to decisions affecting land use in an urban or built environment is an oxymoron. Cities have historically not been seen “as natural entities but as foreign impositions upon the native landscape,” places where the physical environment is already largely destroyed or reduced to insignificant remnants. Moreover, detecting the required federal presence to trigger NEPA may initially seem difficult when decisions affecting urban resources appear to be principally made by local or state agencies.

At the Institute for Public Representation (IPR) at the Georgetown University Law Center, the author has learned that ...