Federal agencies have taken steps to include the public in a wide
range of environmental decisions. Although some form of public
participation is often required by law, agencies usually have broad
discretion about the extent of that involvement. Approaches vary
widely, from holding public information-gathering meetings to
forming advisory groups to actively including citizens in making
and implementing decisions. Proponents of public participation
argue that those who must live with the outcome of an environmental
decision should have some influence on it. Critics maintain that
public participation slows decision making and can lower its
quality by including people unfamiliar with the science involved.
This book concludes that, when done correctly, public participation
improves the quality of federal agencies' decisions about the
environment. Well-managed public involvement also increases the
legitimacy of decisions in the eyes of those affected by them,
which makes it more likely that the decisions will be implemented
effectively. This book recommends that agencies recognize public
participation as valuable to their objectives, not just as a
formality required by the law. It details principles and approaches
agencies can use to successfully involve the public.
National Academies Press
|Country of origin:
National Research Cou Panel on Public Participation in Environmental Assessment an
• Paul C Stern
||Electronic book text
Science & Mathematics >
Probability & statistics
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