The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) required federal agencies to prepare a “detailed statement” covering the impact of agency actions on the environment that would be considered at every important stage in the decision-making process. In response, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (the Commission) (defendant) promulgated rules requiring an applicant seeking a permit to build and operate a nuclear power plant to prepare an “environmental report” assessing the likely impacts of the nuclear facility on the environment. Upon receipt of the report, the Commission would then draft its own “detailed statement” to accompany the applicant’s report. However, under the rules, neither document would be considered by the licensing board or received into evidence. Calvert Cliffs Coordinating Committee (Calvert) (plaintiff) filed a petition in the court of appeals against the Commission seeking review of the rules as arguing the Commission’s process was contrary to the text and intent of NEPA.