The Council on Environmental Quality recently announced it will be making updates to regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In a press release from the White House, the changes are reportedly intended to restore regulatory provisions that had been amended under the Trump Administration last year. Many agricultural industry members had celebrated the updates that were made in 2020, after having no major revisions to NEPA regulations since 1978.
The proposal under Phase One of the revision includes three significant provisions. The changes include reinstating requirements that federal agencies evaluate all relevant environmental impacts of any decisions being made. The White House also explains that the proposed revision would establish NEPA regulations as a floor, rather than a ceiling for environmental standards for federal agencies. The changes would also expand the scope of “purpose and need” when considering environmental impacts of potential projects.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available on the Federal Register and public comment will be accepted through November 22.
Listen to the radio report below.