Public comment period open until 10 Mar 2020 for proposed NEPA rollbacks

fossana

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Jan 11, 2018
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NEPA Process & Proposed Deregulation
Under the National Environmental Policy Act, major federal projects like bridges, highways, pipelines or power plants that will have a significant impact on the environment require a review, or environmental impact statement, outlining potential consequences.
The proposed new rules would change the regulations that guide the implementation of the law in a number of ways, including by narrowing the range of projects that require such an assessment and by imposing strict new deadlines on completing the studies.
The changes would also eliminate the need for agencies to consider the “cumulative impacts” of projects.
source: NYT

To underscore the importance of the NEPA process, in addition to the environmental assessment itself, the process provides public transparency and input into the rigor of the analysis, findings, and project approval. One recent example was the halting of the oil and gas leases near Zion after significant public opposition in the form of comments on the Environmental Assessment.

Proposed Rule & Public Comment Form
To comment use the Comment Now! button on the right. Also note that there are public hearings scheduled for Feb at the DC and Denver EPA & DoI offices (see Dates section). Comments due by 10 March 2020.

More Background
https://www.npr.org/2020/01/09/7948...es-major-changes-to-bedrock-environmental-law
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/climate/trump-nepa-environment.html
https://www.edf.org/media/trump-administration-effort-weaken-nepa-takes-our-country-wrong-direction

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/white-house-wants-to-change-rules-to-speed-up-highway-projects-pipelines-drilling/2020/01/08/4e248fda-325a-11ea-9313-6cba89b1b9fb_story.html
 

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Wanderlust073

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Oct 30, 2016
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Between NEPA and nothing at all there should be a middle ground wherein environmental impacts can be measured, but the process can't be open ended to the point that small groups can use it to stall projects for so long that the only financially sane decision is to abandon them.

I know, I know... 'middle ground'. Crazy talk.
 

balzaccom

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Sep 30, 2014
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Should a small group of conservationists be allowed to slow down the Trump administration's effort to open vast amount of the Southwest to mining and oil and gas drilling--including much of the original scope of Escalante and Bears Ears?

When you are facing massive amounts of money from industry,, sometimes small groups of people are all you have left.
 

Wanderlust073

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Oct 30, 2016
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I didn't say slow down, I said 'stall to the point of abandonment'. There is good cause for environmental review. There is not good cause for the process to run without limit, providing an extra-judicial path to simply starve projects out of existence.

Again, with 'leadership' worthy of the title on either side of the issue, a sensible middle ground could likely be found. But one side is driven by dollars at all cost, and the other hypocritically rallies behind some strange call to primitivism while benefitting from every product arising from the industries they seek to destroy.

I was just chipping in with what I know is a minority opinion. Not looking to get into it.
 

fossana

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Jan 11, 2018
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Adding here that by environmental it's not just plants, wildlife, archeological sites, and human health that are considered in an EA. It's things like the impact on recreational users and the local economy.
 

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