Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Environmental Review Procedures Page: 1 of 6
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Order Code RS21587
August 11, 2003
CR8 Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Overseas Private Investment Corporation:
Environmental Review Procedures
James K. Jackson
Specialist in International Trade and Finance
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Congress requires the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and other
U.S. agencies whose programs have the potential for adversely affecting the
environment abroad, to develop and follow an established set of guidelines to mitigate
the environmental impact of its programs. To comply with this directive, OPIC has
developed a multi-stage process to screen proposed projects to determine if they meet
the Corporation's environmental standards. OPIC conducts environmental impact
assessments of all applicants for its programs and is directed by Congress to protect the
environment and natural resources of developing countries. In particular, Congress has
directed OPIC to protect tropical forests, endangered species, and national parks. This
report will updated as warranted by events.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)1 was established in 1969 and
began operations in 1971 as an independent U.S. government agency charged with
providing project financing, investment insurance, and other services for U.S. businesses
investing in developing nations.2 At the time OPIC was established, Congress was
conducting an overall review of U.S. aid programs, especially large infrastructure
projects, and was exploring alternative ways to assist developing countries. In his first
message to Congress on aid, President Nixon recommended the creation of OPIC to
assume the investment guaranty and promotion functions that were being conducted by
the Agency for International Development (AID). President Nixon also directed that
'For additional information, see OPIC's Internet address [http://www.opic.gov/].
2 Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (P.L. 87-195); Executive Order No. 11579, January 19, 1971,
36 F.R. 969, as amended.
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Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Environmental Review Procedures, report, August 11, 2003; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc812651/m1/1/: accessed May 15, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.