To be eligible to participate in the grant program, a state must first inventory and designate areas of critical environmental concern and those impacted by key facilities. Additionally, the state must establish methods to exercise control over land use decisions within these areas and assure that local regulations do not unduly restrict developments of regional benefit.81 Once a state's plan was approved, federal projects and activities were required to be consistent with that plan, unless there were overriding national interests.82 If a state had not planned in accordance with the statute, any federal agency proposing any major federal action affecting land use was required to hold public hearings in that state. Additionally, the agency was required to consider the land use implications of the proposed action when conducting the environmental impact review mandated under NEPA.83
Amendments to S. 992
On March 6, 1972, at the request of the executive, Senator Jackson introduced amendments
(S. 992, supra note 64, at §104(a).
(Id. at §106(a). No definition or explanation was provided, in the legislation or otherwise, for the type of action that might constitute an overriding national interest.
(Id. at § 107. As late as February 3, 1971, the bill contained a sanctions provision: if any state failed to develop adequate procedures for producing a land-use plan, the state's federal highway, outdoor recreation and airport funds could be cut by 7% each year up to a maximum reduction of 21%. The provision was abandoned because CEQ feared that the bill would never pass if it contained sanctions. Whitaker, supra note 66, at 158.