Trump Administration’s NEPA Reforms Take Effect
Last August, President Trump issued Executive Order 13807, “Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects,” which instructed federal agencies to “ensure that the Federal environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects is coordinated, predictable, and transparent.”
Pursuant to this instruction, in January the Council on Environmental Quality proposed far-reaching revisions to the regulations instructing federal agencies how to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires that federal agencies complete environmental impact statements (EISs) before undertaking major actions that have a significant effect on the environment.
As the CEQ noted, federal NEPA regulations had not been meaningfully revised in over forty years. In that time, the costs of NEPA compliance—in terms of both time and money—have increased substantially, and far exceed what CEQ had anticipated. In 1981, CEQ predicted that the EIS process would generally take less than a
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