The Trump administration announced final rollbacks to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) today, a bedrock environmental law signed in 1970 to balance environmental risks when permitting major projects such as pipelines and highways.
The final rule cuts opportunity for public participation, reduces considerations of climate change when making decisions and significantly curtails the amount of time agencies have to complete environmental reviews.
Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood issued the following statement:
“NEPA is one of the so called sunshine laws that ensure people have a voice in decisions made by the Federal Government. NEPA also ensures that those decisions are fully informed with the best available science.
This rulemaking is a missed opportunity to constructively improve the NEPA process and foster more and earlier public involvement. Any actions that limit transparency and public engagement are actions that undermine trust and forsake opportunities to bring stakeholders together. Federal decision making can be a time-consuming process, but quick decisions often lead to bad decisions.
Trout Unlimited participates in the NEPA process, both as members of the public, and as proponents of restoration projects that require NEPA review. In this way, we have a unique perspective having been on both sides of the NEPA coin. In our experience, more public involvement through genuine collaboration results in better projects and more durable decisions. We are disappointed that this is not the outcome of the rulemaking, but we will remain steadfast in our commitment to collaboration and partnerships with Federal agencies.”