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Environmental Impact Statements

Environmental Impact Statement Collection

statement report cover

The Transportation Library holds one of the largest collections of environmental impact statements (EISs) in the nation. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 requires that federal agencies prepare detailed analyses of any of their actions that significantly affect the quality of the environment. Environmental impact statements (EISs) are the result of this requirement. EISs have been produced, since 1969, on virtually every type of activity, from oil and gas development to scientific research in Antarctica, and from protection of wildlife habitat to construction of light rail lines.

The library collection began as a 1992 donation of over 20,000 EIS titles from Northwestern faculty H. Paul Friesema, a leader in the environmental movement who was instrumental in developing the university’s program in Environmental Policy and Culture.

Since the initial donation, the library has continued to collect EISs and currently holds over 33,000 titles in print, microfilm, CD-ROM, and electronic formats. EIS titles from our collection digitized by Google are available in full text through HathiTrust and through the library’s discovery tool NUSearch.

Key Resources

The Transportation Library has one of the largest collections of Environmental Impact Statements in the nation, dating back to the onset of the environmental impact assessment program. Environmental Impact Statements are available to members of the Northwestern University community and to outside researchers, via Interlibrary Loan. Search our collections using the EIS tab in our catalog.

For more information on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), EIS filing guidance, and more, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's NEPA page

A Citizen's Guide to the NEPA, published by the Council on Environmental Quality, provides a good overview of NEPA for individual citizens, private sector applicants, and other interested researchers.

Resources for EISs

Webinar - Environmental Impact Statements

Our Collections

What we do collect: Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), dating to the beginning of the NEPA program, including Draft and Final versions. While we do have one of the nation's largest collections, we do not own every EIS.

We do not collect Categorical Exclusions (CEs), Environmental Impact Assessments (EAs), and Environmental Impact Reports (produced by states).