Environmental Reviews Done by Communities:

Are They Needed? Are They Adequate?

CED-77-123: Published: Sep 1, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 1, 1977.

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Communities receiving community development block grants are performing environmental reviews for projects which affect the environment little, if at all.

An examination of 26 communities which spent about $214,000 on 450 environmental reviews during the first year of the community development program indicated that reviews of about 54 percent of the projects may have been unnecessary. Environmental reviews may not be needed for such community development activities as social service projects, minor maintenance or repair projects, beautification projects, and rehabilitation or renovation of occupied structures. On the other hand, some communities are not effectively carrying out the environmental responsibilities delegated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: To make the environmental review process easier and to make sure that communities carry out their responsibilities, the Secretary, HUD, should: (1) work with the Council on Environmental Quality to identify and exempt from review those insignificant types of projects which do not need environmental reviews; (2) clarify and expand the Department's environmental review procedures, particularly the scope of environmental reviews required by communities; (3) establish a mandatory environmental review format for communities to use; (4) emphasize training of community environmentalists; and (5) revise the Department's monitoring procedures so communities' environmental reviews are evaluated in depth.

    Agency Affected:


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