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46 Envtl. L. 953 (2016)
NEPA, FLPMA, and Impact Reduction: An Empirical Assessment of BLM Resource Management Planning and NEPA in the Mountain West

handle is hein.journals/envlnw46 and id is 1007 raw text is: 








NEPA, FLPMA, AND IMPACT REDUCTION: AN EMPIRICAL
      ASSESSMENT OF BLM RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
      PLANNING AND NEPA IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST

                                    BY
                      JOHN  RUPLE* & MARK  CAPONE**


       This Article  reviews  Environmental   Impact   Statements   (EIS)
  completed   in conjunction  with  Resource  Management Plan (RMP)
  revisions conducted   by  the Bureau  of Land  Management (BLM) in
  Colorado, Montana,   Utah, and Wyoming   between  2004 and 2014. Based
  on our review  of sixteen EISs, we found  that RMP  revisions increased
  application of more  protective surface use stipulations by statistically
  signifcant amounts   without causing a statistically significant change in
  either  the number of jobs created or the pace of oil and gas
  development.  In fact, both the number ofjobs  created and wells drilled
  increased slightly despite strengthened environmental  protections. We
  also found  that Draft RMP  EISs that are completed  on an  accelerated
  timeline  come  with  a heightened  risk that supplementation   will be
  needed.  The  delays associated with preparing  a Supplemental  EIS far
  outweigh   the  timesaving  associated   with fast-tracking  Draft  EIS
  preparation  and provide  a strong  caution against rushing  the NEPA
  process.




* Associate Professor of Law (Research) and Wallace Stegner Center Fellow, S.J. Quinney
College of Law at the University of Utah.
** Attorney Advisor, Office of the General Counsel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, United States Department of Commerce.
The authors would like to thank the 444S Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council,
and the Partnership Project for assistance funding this research effort. This project would not
have been possible without their generous support. Project funders were not, however, involved
in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report;
or in any other aspect of the research. The authors would also like to thank Professor Robert
Keiter for his careful review of and thoughtful comments on drafts of this paper. The authors
are also grateful to Seth Latimer, Senior Research Analyst at the University of Utah's College of
Nursing, and Jason L. Jones, Ecologist/Herpetologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife,
for their assistance with the statistical analysis contained herein. The authors are solely
responsible for the opinions, recommendations, and any errors or omissions contained herein.
Furthermore, the views and opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


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