In recent years, there has been an increasing recognition of the need to address the complex and interrelated impacts that result from human interaction with the environment. One of the most effective tools for evaluating these impacts has been the preparation of programmatic environmental impact statements (EISs) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). The status of programmatic EISs, however, has been called into question by the Supreme Court's decision in Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, which has been interpreted by numerous commentators as heralding the end of "programmatic" environmental lawsuits. Even more significantly, Lujan has been cited by some courts declining to review federal agency actions with widespread environmental impacts. In Lujan, the Supreme Court held that an environmental advocacy organization lacked standing to challenge the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) administration of the "land withdrawal review program" under which the agency determined which federal lands under its administration would be available for mining and other commercial uses. Although several years have passed since the Court decided the case, exactly what type of "programmatic" lawsuits are ostensibly precluded under Lujan remains unclear.
Matthew C. Porterfield,
Agency Action, Finality and Geographical Nexus: Judicial Review of Agency Compliance With NEPA's Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Requirement After Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol28/iss3/3