The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a critical law that has helped local communities protect themselves and their environment from dangerous, rushed, and poorly planned federal projects for over 45 years.
We teach our children to “look before you leap.” The NEPA process simply and sensibly requires our government to do the same by identifying any significant impacts a project may have on our health, environment, and livelihood before construction begins.
NEPA and its implementing procedures provide a strong foundation for informed, science-based decision-making and already provide ample flexibility.
As such, I am strongly opposed to CEQ’s proposed rule as well as any other changes to NEPA’s implementing procedures that would in any way restrict public input, limit consideration of project alternatives, establish hard deadlines for project approval, or narrow or eliminate federal agencies’ obligations to consider a project’s climate impacts.
I urge CEQ to abandon this rulemaking process altogether.
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For more than 50 years the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has protected the health, clean air and clean water of millions of Americans.
NEPA requires federal agencies to engage in a review process to identify any significant environmental, economic, social, or health impacts a project may have before decisions are made and construction begins. We teach our children to “look before they leap.” Environmental reviews require our government to do the same.
NEPA’s mandatory public comment periods also provide a powerful tool for local communities to speak up in favor or opposition of major federal actions that affect their health, well-being, and environment. Thanks to NEPA, millions of people have been given a voice in federal government decisions impacting their daily lives.
For years opponents in Congress, backed by powerful special interests, have launched attack after attack seeking to roll back NEPA and public participation in government decision-making, but the White House’s most recent proposal is by far the most serious.
Earlier this year, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) officially released the Trump administration’s draft proposal severely rolling back NEPA’s implementing procedures.
Make no mistake. This one of the most severe attacks on our environment, public health, and right to public participation we have yet to see from the Trump administration. This proposal would entrench government-sponsored climate denial and make it easier to rubberstamp permits for corporate polluters, no matter the cost to local communities.
CEQ’s NEPA regulations are designed to ensure that government agencies take a hard look at the environmental, public health, and economic impacts of proposed actions as a basis for making informed, science-based decisions.
The bottom line is that if we don’t act now, the Trump administration could take away our right to have a say about major federal projects happening in our backyards.