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Round 2:  Another Attack on the National Environmental Policy Act

Fight back—by March 10th  

To defend your rights, please register your comments! #ProtectNEPA

They’re back…this time, in response to an Executive Order, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has proposed to fundamentally alter and weaken our nation’s bedrock environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  This 50-year-old law enables citizens to learn about, participate in, and if necessary challenge government decisions affecting our environment.

NEPA affects nearly every environmental issue in the US, including Forest Service activities, climate change, water and air pollution, fisheries, environmental justice, and more.

The CEQ’s proposed NEPA rewrite would:

  • Remove “cumulative effects” and” indirect effects” analyses from NEPA. Cumulative and indirect effects analyses are essential to determine the impacts of human activities on the environment.
  • Discourage advances in science. Agencies would be directed to use existing data, and not undertake new scientific and technical research to inform their analyses.
  • Expand the use of “categorical exclusions” for proposed actions, which will prevent environmental analysis, public notice and input.
  • Allow industry to prepare assessments of their own environmental impacts, and delete requirements to guard against conflicts-of-interest.

The CEQ’s proposal to repeal and replace the entire set of NEPA regulations could deal a fatal blow to the last 50 years of environmental progress, and set the stage for widespread degradation of our public land, fisheries, air, water, and ultimately human health and our quality of life.  Act now! 

The deadline to comment is March 10th, 2020

For a brief guide to understand more about these proposed changes, check out the Environmental Law Institute’s Practitioner’s Guide to the Proposed NEPA Regulations

Read the full proposed rule and submit comments directly to the CEQ here: CEQ Portal

Or quickly compose comments using the Southern Environmental Law Center’s comment portal here: Protect NEPA