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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

NRC Calls on Other Agencies to Follow EPA's Lead in Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making
On August 22, 2008, the National Research Council issued a report praising the National Science Foundation's relationship with the U.S. EPA, and recommending that other U.S. federal agencies emulate EPA's efforts to involve the public in environmental decision making.

The report is entitled Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making. It was produced at the request of EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with additional support from the U.S. Forest Service. The report concludes that

    "when done well, public participation improves the quality and legitimacy of a decision and builds the capacity of all involved to engage in the policy process. It can lead to better results in terms of environmental quality and other social objectives. It also can enhance trust and understanding among parties. Achieving these results depends on using practices that address difficulties that specific aspects of the context can prevent."

The report recommends specific practices to improve and enhance public participation. Among these is EPA's long-term cooperation with NSF.

  • Click here to read NRC's report online or to order hard copy