Updated NEPA Regulations Released

07/15/2020 5:01 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

The Trump Administration has unveiled its finalized changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The finalized regulations can be accessed here.

From the New York Times:

President Trump on Wednesday unilaterally weakened one of the nation’s bedrock conservation laws, the National Environmental Policy Act, limiting public review of federal infrastructure projects to speed up the permitting of freeways, power plants and pipelines.

In doing so, the Trump administration claimed it will save hundreds of millions of dollars over almost a decade by significantly reducing the amount of time allowed to complete reviews of major infrastructure projects.

Revising the 50-year-old law through regulatory reinterpretation is one of the biggest — and most audacious — deregulatory actions of the Trump administration, which to date has moved to roll back 100 rules protecting clean air and water, and others that aim to reduce the threat of human-caused climate change.

Because the action is coming so late in Mr. Trump’s term, it also elevates the stakes in the November elections. Under federal regulatory law, a Democratic president and Congress could eradicate the NEPA rollback with simple majority votes on Capitol Hill and the president’s signature.

Republican lawmakers, the oil and gas industry, construction companies, home builders and other businesses have long said the federal permitting process takes too long, and accused environmentalists of using the law to tie up projects they oppose.

ACRA is reviewing the changes and will provide more information for members shortly. Read the full New York Times article here, and stay tuned to the ACRAsphere for more information.

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