Legislators from 35 states oppose CEQ’s proposed rollbacks to NEPA
March 10, 2020
Over 170 members of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL), representing 35 states, have signed a letter in opposition to the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) proposal to amend the regulations for implementing the procedural provisions for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
These rollbacks include the elimination of NEPA review for many projects; the limitation of the types of impacts examined; allowing projects to be approved even if critical scientific and technical information is missing; weakened consideration of alternatives during a review; allowing agencies to ignore critical public input; allowing project applicants to write their own environmental reviews without conflict of interest safeguards.
These rollbacks would limit both input from the public and science-based decision-making. They would put industry and developer interests before the public health and safety of our communities and before the health of our environment.
The letter, spearheaded by North Carolina State Representative Pricey Harrison and Nevada Assemblymember Howard Watts, cites the issues with these rollbacks and why they threaten communities like the ones they represent.
The signed legislators urge CEQ to withdraw the proposed rule change and retain the existing NEPA implementing regulations that have effectively served the nation for more than 40 years. Instead, they urge CEQ to increase funding and training for staff across federal agencies responsible for compliance.