Since the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969, environmental regulation has evolved as a major governmental tool in preserving environmental quality. environmental regulation can result in substantial costs to those being regulated, their customers, and to the general public. These costs result from both lost investment if permits are denied and costs incurred due to the regulatory process. Because of a lack of understanding by applicants and because of a widespread mistrust of the process, applicants who have failed to obtain authorization sometimes lay the blame for their loss on the regulatory agencies, implying that they (the applicants) have been powerless to influence the process. This dissertation examines a somewhat different explanation. The primary hypothesis of the dissertation is that the applicant can have a high degree of control over the regulatory process and the final outcome, which is the issuance or the denial of the authorization.