The technique of environmental impact assessment has emerged as the principal regulatory tool for assuring that each person acts "so that due consideration is given to preventing environmental damage." Just as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that each of the federal government's agencies assure that its decisions will be environmentally sound, so have many of the various states decreed that their agencies and political subdivisions shall maximize environmental protection.
Nicholas A. Robinson, SEQRA's Siblings: Precedents from Little NEPA's in the Sister States, 46 Alb. L. Rev. 1155 (1982), available at http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/386/.