Environmental Impact Statement

The analysis of the impact that a proposed development, usually industrial, will have on the natural and social environment. It includes assessment of long- and short-term effects on the physical environment, such as air, water, and noise pollution, as well as effects on employment, living standards, local services, and aesthetics. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as well as many state and local laws enacted during the late 1960s and early 1970s mandate that these statements be completed before major development projects can begin. (Encyclopedia.com)