When President Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on January 1, 1970, he declared that the new statute marked the arrival of the time for environmental action. The quantatitive measures of legislative and judicial activity during the ensuing decade suggest that he accurately captured the mood of the times, for the 1970's produced a flurry of new and amended statutes as well as a veritable explosion in environmental litigation. As a result of this burst of energy, environmental law has emerged as an important legal speciality that now commands the attention of law schools, government lawyers, and the private bar, in addition to the environmental groups who dominated the field in its early years.
Kenneth M. Murchison,
Does NEPA Matter? - An Analysis of the Historical Development and Contemporary Significance of the National Environmental Policy Act,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol18/iss3/4