For the evaluation of environmental review and permitting, we conducted two surveys. The surveys were designed to capture participants’ views on how well the environmental review process had worked for them and what they thought was needed to improve it. In both surveys, we included only environmental reviews for which a public comment period had occurred between January 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. We excluded a project if it did not include contact information for the participants. This amounted to a total of 41 projects.
For one of the surveys, we focused on people who had proposed projects that had undergone environmental review. We asked all 41 project proposers to complete the questionnaire; 26 of them responded, which is the equivalent of a 63 percent response rate. For the second survey, our focus was on people who had commented on either an EAW or EIS document. We sent the questionnaire to 307 individuals, including citizens, staff from public agencies, and representatives of nonprofit organizations or public interest groups. Seven survey requests were returned because of incorrect mailing addresses, and updated addresses could not be found. Of the remaining 300, 196 responded, for a 65 percent response rate.
Below we report first the results from the survey of project proposers. This is followed by the results from surveying people who had commented on EAWs and EISs. For the latter, the results are reported separately for each group—citizens, representatives of nonprofit or public-interest groups, and government agency employees.