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CEQ Issues Less Ambitious Seventh Annual Report

December 1976

Citation: ELR 10278

Without much fanfare, the Council on Environmental Quality has issued its seventh annual report, a document notable for both its brevity and relative punctuality.Entitled Environmental Quality—1976,1 it totals only 378 pages, barely one-half the length of last year's report. As CEQ notes in the Preface, this shortening is purposeful; the Council has adopted a new format which it hopes will make the report more useful as a reference document. Lengthy chapters on special topics such as those on carcinogens in 1975 and land use in 1974 will henceforth be issued as individual publications rather than included in annual reports. The first example of this new policy seems to be Environmental Impact Statements: An Analysis of Six Years' Experience by Seventy Federal Agencies, a 103-page study issued by the Council in March 1976. Perhaps, as a consequence of this separate publication, the section in this year's report dealing with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has shrunk to 15 pages, as compared to 38 pages in last year's volume.

Rather than a number of chapters covering broad subject areas, the 1976 report is divided into only two parts: "Events of the Past Year," which recounts new legislative, judicial, administrative and private sector developments affecting the environment, and "Conditions and Trends," which analyzes data relating to environmental improvement or deterioration. These two sections are then broken down into subject area subcategories within which discrete events or issues are described and discussed.

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