From the Document: "The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq., declared a national policy 'to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.' To implement this policy, NEPA requires federal agencies to identify and evaluate impacts of 'major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.' 42 U.S.C. § 4332(2)(C). Although an agency must consider these impacts, it need not elevate these environmental concerns above others. Instead, NEPA requires agencies to 'take a hard look at environmental consequences' of their proposed actions, consider alternatives, and publicly disseminate such information before taking final action."
CRS In Focus, IF11549
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/