Environmental Impact Statement

DEFINITION of 'Environmental Impact Statement'

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a report addressing the potential effects on the environment of a proposed federal government project. These statements are required by Section 102(2) (C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and are reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The public may comment on an EIS while it is in its draft stage. All statements are published in the Federal Register and are also available online at the EPA's website.

BREAKING DOWN 'Environmental Impact Statement'

In addition to outlining proposed actions, an EIS also outlines possible alternatives and the potential environmental impacts of the alternatives. Some states, for example California, have adopted similar requirements for their taxpayer-funded projects.

All current EIS's that are in draft stage are made available for the public to read on the U.S. Department of Energy's NEPA website, at energy.gov. The site also makes statements available after they have been finalized.

For example, on the site as of May 2017 is a draft version of an EIS regarding the possible impacts of funding a proposal of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho to build and operate a hatchery for spring/summer-run Chinook salmon in the Salmon River subbasin and Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the Upper Snake River sub-basin on Fort Hall Reservation. The public can comment on this EIS before it is finalized.