“adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented,” (3) any “alternatives to the proposed action,” and (4) any “irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed action should it be implemented . . .” Id. The EIS must be circulated for comment by the public and other affected agencies, in order to assure that relevant environmental information will “be made available to the larger audience that may also play a role in both the decisionmaking process and the implementation” of a proposed decision. Robertson, 490 U.S. at __.
2.Scope of impacts that must be considered
The environmental impacts that must be considered in an EIS include “reasonably foreseeable” impacts which have “catastrophic consequences, even if their probability of occurrence is low.” 40 C.F.R. § 1502.22(b)(1). Environmental risks may be ignored if they are “remote and speculative.” See Limerick Ecology Action, 869 F.2d at 745, citing Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. Natural Resources Defense Counsel, Inc., 435 U.S. 519, 551 (1978).
The fact that the likelihood of an impact may not be easily quantifiable is not an excuse for failing to address it in an EIS. NRC regulations require that: “[t]o the extent that there are important qualitative considerations or factors that cannot be quantified, these considerations or factors will be discussed in qualitative terms.” 10 C.F.R. 51.71.
Further, as provided in the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations implementing NEPA, 40 C.F.R. 1502.22, an agency must make an attempt to evaluate reasonably foreseeable significant adverse effects, if the costs of obtaining the information are not exorbitant. Even if the costs of obtaining the information are exorbitant, the agency must acknowledge that the