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National Environmental Policy Act, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 250

Essay

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was established in December 1969 and signed into law on January 1, 1970 by President Richard Millhouse Nixon. Although the bill carries the sole purpose of addressing and solving environmental issues from a governmental standpoint, the NEPA has often been compared to the historical Magna Carta document. While the two sets of rules appear to be complete opposites of one another at first glance, close analysis shows NEPA to be the Magna Carta of environmental law.

Aside from being a set of rules that individuals follow NEPA, like the Magna Carta, is the foundation for environmental law. There were no policies or procedures to follow concerning the environment prior to the conception of NEPA in 1969. In the same manner, the Magna Carta was the first document of its time to establish national rules for America. Recognized as predecessor to the United States Constitution, the Magna Carta served as a model for the founding fathers to build upon when deciding what standards were necessary for a country to operate. In many aspects, standards speculated in the Constitution today are in some way based on the historical documents.

Although not as profound as the Magna Carta, NEPA is significantly recognized as the foundation of environmental law which means that all policies and procedures concerning the branch of government can be traced back to the Act. For this reason, many compare the NEPA to the historical Magna Carta that served as guide to the makers of the Constitution.

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