White House Rolls Out New NEPA Regs

Today, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released it’s proposed rule modernizing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely environmental reviews.

“I am pleased that the Council on Environmental Quality is updating NEPA’s outdated implementing guidance,” said Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CALIFORNIA) in a Western Caucus press statement. “For too long these vague directives have resulted in unnecessary project delays, frivolous litigation and job-killing federal overreach. I applaud CEQ’s work to establish strict timeframes and certainty for permittees that will help advance infrastructure projects vital to our nation’s economic growth.”

Signed into law in 1970, NEPA mandates federal agencies assess the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions.

“We are reviewing the proposed rule with an eye towards seeing how it corrects and re-balances the significant negative impacts to our Western farmers that have resulted from past federal implementation of NEPA and other environmental laws,” said Dan Keppen, Executive Director of the Family Farm Alliance.  

President Trump’s remarks on the modernization of NEPA can be watched HERE

The 194-page pre-publication version of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the “Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Protection Act” is available HERE; a 4-page fact sheet is available HERE.

CEQ requests public comment on the NPRM—comments should be submitted on or before Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

CEQ will hold public hearings on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, February 11, 2020, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020, U.S. Department of the Interior, Yates Auditorium, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC

“There is a proper and balance way to implement NEPA,” said Mr. Keppen. “We want to ensure that federal agencies implementing the requirements of NEPA won’t engage – or be forced to engage – in costly and unnecessary assessments”.

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