KEY VOICES

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Final Rule has received widespread support. Check out the statements below from a variety of organizations and individuals on their support for modernizing NEPA to create middle class sustaining jobs and investments in our country’s infrastructure. 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“It should not take longer for a project to get permitted than it does for it to be constructed, but unfortunately that is often the case in the United States today. After two decades of discussion about the need for reform, spanning multiple Administrations, we’re thankful that the Trump Administration has made this issue a priority and taken thoughtful action.

“In this time of economic hardship, America must be able to put people to work to rebuild our aging transportation infrastructure like highways, bridges and airports. If we are serious about wanting to improve our climate, we must be able to build the clean energy infrastructure needed like solar panels, wind farms and transmission lines. And if we wish to provide underserved communities with environmentally sustainable infrastructure that unleashes economic opportunities, we must be able to expand access to transit lines…” 

Thomas J. Donohue, CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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Agricultural Retailers Association

“The final rule will speed up the approval process for much-needed infrastructure projects, which will especially benefit the rural communities in which ag retailers and their customers live and work. The rule does not compromise environmental reviews or public input, in fact the rule will enhance the public’s involvement through better coordination of hearings and more concise, accessible documents for review.” 

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“A4A strongly supports NEPA’s directives for environmental review of projects and other actions subject to federal approval and environmentally informed federal decision making. Accordingly, A4A applauds CEQ for undertaking this much-needed update of its 1978 federal governmentwide NEPA regulations and providing valuable guidance to all agencies implementing NEPA. We believe this initiative will improve the NEPA process, making it more effective, efficient, and responsive to the country’s pressing infrastructure needs while ensuring environmental integrity.”

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American Council for Capital Formation

“ACCF is keenly aware that major projects like developing the infrastructure so desperately needed in the U.S. rely on reasonable, fixed schedules and financial predictability to attract the capital needed to bring these projects to fruition. Infrastructure development will have the additional economic benefit of creating millions of jobs and accelerating economic growth and productivity. As such, we support the Administration’s proposal to modernize NEPA, which will allow for increased infrastructure investment, while streamlining the permitting process and assuring sound, fact-based environmental reviews, consistently applied across agencies.”

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American Council of Engineering Companies

“America’s engineering industry believes we can improve our infrastructure while being good stewards of the environment. The expectation of our public and private project owners is that NEPA should be implemented with a better balance of timelines and reviewing agency accountability to provide more certainty for investments.  For this reason, the American Council of Engineering Companies supports commonsense NEPA reforms to eliminate unnecessary delays in project delivery and reduce the regulatory burdens that stifle innovation.”

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American Exploration & Production Council

“Modernizing and clarifying NEPA could not come at a better time for our country, as we are recovering from COVID-19,” said AXPC CEO Anne Bradbury. “NEPA permitting reforms will allow the U.S. to safely build energy infrastructure, provide job opportunities to American communities, and help expand our national economy.” 

“American energy companies adhere to the most stringent regulations in the world, and often go above and beyond legal and regulatory requirements to reduce our industry’s environmental footprint.  The Administration’s modernization of NEPA will allow for continued energy production and exploration in an environmentally protective way, which will help attract investment and get these projects through the permitting process – things that are vital to our ability to help spur job creation and economic growth. CEQ’s modernization returns NEPA back to its initial purpose and the American people,” said Bradbury.  

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American Farm Bureau Federation

“Farmers and ranchers rely on the land, some directly on federal forests and rangelands, so keeping them healthy and productive is critical to farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. We support the new NEPA regulations because they will be instrumental in ensuring the responsible management of the nation’s resources,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Scott Vanderwall. “Updating these 40-year-old regulations is smart government and a welcome change.”

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American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Association

We believe this new rule provides a needed update of the processes and procedures that govern the permitting of our nation’s most vital infrastructure projects, allowing them to move forward without undue delay while ensuring our shared goal of proper environmental stewardship. It also creates greater predictability around the federal permitting process, providing businesses the necessary confidence to invest in important projects that will create thousands of jobs and enliven our economy.” 

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American Gas Association

“This proposed rule from the White House Council on Environmental Quality is an important step to greater transparency and efficiency in the NEPA process and will help America’s natural gas utilities continue to provide timely, safe, reliable and affordable service to the 179 million Americans that enjoy the benefits of natural gas and the millions more that want it,” said AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert. “It is promising to see the CEQ take feedback and concerns from all stakeholders, including our industry, into account during this review. We are hopeful that this rule will result in a federal environmental review and permitting process that increases infrastructure development while growing the economy and enhancing environmental stewardship.”

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American Highway Users Alliances

“Today’s final rule modernizes our 50-year old NEPA law and implements commonsense improvements to NEPA’s critical review process. Americans can now unlock essential infrastructure investment for vital projects across the nation. The final rule balances modernizing the NEPA process and protecting the environment. In recent years, NEPA’s complex administrative procedures have ensnared a wide range of economic sectors from transportation to construction to agriculture. Environmental review is an important component of any infrastructure project but a multi-year, duplicative, and drawn out process is not necessary and only thwarts completion of beneficial projects including important projects that benefit all highway users…”

Laura Perrotta, American Highway Users Alliance President and CEO

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American Loggers Council

“For 40 years, the National Environmental Policy Act has been misinterpreted as the National Environmental “Protection” Act. ALC supports that the language proposed by CEQ throughout the rulemaking document once again recognizes the original intent of members of Congress back in 1978 when the Act became law…Nearly all logging companies are small, family-owned businesses who live and work in rural communities. These small family logging businesses have been decimated for decades by the loss of infrastructure and milling capacity in rural communities. This is a direct result of serial litigators misusing NEPA regulations to either stop projects or delay salvage operations long enough to where the timber to be extracted loses all commercial value.”

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American Petroleum Institute

“NEPA modernization will help America streamline permitting to move job-creating infrastructure projects off the drawing board and into development,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said. “Today’s action is essential to U.S. energy leadership and environmental progress, providing more certainty to jumpstart not only the modernized pipeline infrastructure we need to deliver cleaner fuels but highways, bridges and renewable energy. These reforms will help accelerate the nation’s economic recovery and advance energy infrastructure while continuing necessary environmental reviews.” 

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American Public Power Association

“APPA agrees the NEPA review process needs to be revised, modernized and streamlined. We appreciate that CEQ’s proposed revisions will focus limited Agency resources on the most pertinent environmental issues while also reducing duplication and providing parties with more certainty.”

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American Road & Transportation Builders Association

“It can take up to seven years to complete the environmental review process for a new federal-aid project. That’s too long. The Trump administration’s commonsense reforms will help speed up the delivery of U.S. transportation infrastructure projects. Streamlining the NEPA process is essential to assuring that the government is making every transportation dollar go as far as possible while preserving a commitment to our environment. The best next step is for Congress to approve a robust, multi-year transportation infrastructure investment bill that Republicans, Democrats and the president have been calling for since the 2016 elections.”

ARTBA President Dave Bauer

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American Sheep Industry Association

Since that time, NEPA analysis has grown, with the average environmental impact statement ballooning to more than 600 pages and taking four and half years to complete. ASI President Benny Cox said this modernization represents a tremendous step in the right direction.

“Those operating on federal grazing permits and those who rely on USDA Wildlife Services predator management are familiar with the cumbersome and prolonged NEPA process, which has become an all too frequent toehold for frivolous litigation,” said Cox. “ASI has long had policy urging federal land management agencies to reduce unnecessary burdens and delays through the use of categorical exclusions, and that is a key element of this proposed rule.”

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American Trucking Associations

“This is good news for truckers, the motoring public, our economy and the environment,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “It currently takes an average seven years for a highway construction project to get through federal permitting, which is counterproductive in the extreme. This cumbersome review process presents an enormous obstacle to modernizing our outdated infrastructure, contributing to more traffic congestion and the harmful emissions that come with it.” 

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American Wind Energy Association

“The American Wind Energy Association supports improving the National Environmental Policy Act review process, said Amy Farrell, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for AWEA. “While America’s wind energy industry supports the fundamental goals of NEPA to appropriately consider potential environmental and climate impacts, the NEPA process has not been revised in decades. As a result, infrastructure projects, including land-based and offshore wind energy and transmission development, have encountered unreasonable and unnecessary costs and long project delays. It is time to update and modernize the permitting process, which would both strengthen our economy and enhance environmental stewardship.  We look forward to reviewing the proposed rule and working with the Administration to advance infrastructure permitting reform. Reducing permitting delays and uncertainties associated with responsible wind energy infrastructure development will create jobs, increase deployment of clean, reliable American-made domestic power; expand manufacturing opportunities for workers in local communities (especially in rural and coastal areas); add to local tax revenue; and support broader infrastructure development, such as port revitalization from the development of offshore wind facilities.”

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The Association of American Railroads

“The freight rail industry believes that the federal government should do more to speed up the permitting process of infrastructure projects. More can be done to fast-track routine maintenance and replacement construction projects without sacrificing environmental or historical preservation concerns. This includes a modernized approach to NEPA, such as categorical exclusions for rail projects.”

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Associated Builders and Contractors

“The modernization of these critical regulations will go a long way toward eliminating unnecessary delays that cause budget overruns in construction. Construction businesses recovering from the ongoing health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 will surely benefit from these modifications, which will help reduce costs and speed up project approvals so that hardworking U.S. workers can get back on the job quickly and safely. 

“The coordinated, predictable and transparent process to streamline permitting will also enable the industry to plan and execute even the most complex projects while safeguarding our communities, maintaining a healthy environment and being good stewards of public funds.”

Kristen Swearingen, Vice President of Legislative & Political Affairs, Associated Builders and Contractors

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Associated General Contractors of America

“This updated review process will make it easier to rebuild aging infrastructure, attract private investment, support efforts to reinvigorate our economy and continue to provide strict protections for the environment. Given the broad, bipartisan support for improving infrastructure, these common-sense reforms should be widely embraced and supported.

“Significantly, under the final rule, projects still undergo an environmental review with public input. The key difference is that those reviews will last months, instead of years and it will become slightly harder for special interests to delay the process with unmerited lawsuits. Notably, the substantive environmental laws and requirements that come into play on every construction project remain unchanged…”

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Building a Better America

“On behalf of the more than 500,000 Americans who urged improvements to the National Environmental Policy Act, we commend President Trump and his Administration for their work to modernize regulations to encourage greater investment in America’s critical infrastructure.

“The Administration’s action will result in more jobs and investment and greater transparency and predictability for those seeking to build and improve broadband, airports, roads, transit, and many other public assets. The final rule will encourage greater investment in American infrastructure while ensuring projects are delivered on time and on budget…”

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Center for LNG

“Today’s finalized rule provides certainty for project developers and international buyers looking for consistent and predictable regulatory time frames. A modernized NEPA process will help U.S. LNG compete in the global marketplace while ensuring rigorous safety and environmental standards at home. We are happy to see that the final rule incorporates the One Federal Decision policy which better enables multidomain regulatory projects like LNG facilities to navigate the permitting processes.” 

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Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

“Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions commends President Trump’s recommendations to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act, a package of 50-year old regulations that has hampered American businesses and our country’s energy potential,” said CRES Director of Policy and Advocacy Charles Hernick. “This is the next step in a multi-year effort by the Trump Administration to make the NEPA process work better and on a reasonable timeline. Contrary to critics’ beliefs, this is not a rollback, but rather a tightening of the scope of analysis so the federal government can be more effective in decision-making to ensure that businesses can either move forward with their projects, or go back to the drawing board.”

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ConservAmerica

“Environmental reviews have become an incredibly cumbersome and confusing process for many project proponents,” said Fewell, who served as an adviser at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the George W. Bush administration. “Too often, the long delays caused by appeals and litigation under NEPA drive investors away and eventually cause projects to wither on the vine.”  

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CTIA – The Wireless Association

“CTIA supports the NEPA’s objectives and CEQ’s goal to modernize and clarify the NEPA regulations to facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely reviews by Federal agencies. The U.S. wireless industry is expected to invest as much as $275 billion nationwide to deploy 5G, providing a $500 billion boost to the economy and creating three million new jobs. However, lengthy and costly regulatory reviews remain a substantial barrier to the deployment of the infrastructure necessary to meet consumers’ growing demand for mobile broadband and to support next-generation 5G networks. CTIA therefore commends CEQ for the steps it has taken to date to promote efficiencies in the NEPA process.”

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Energy Producing States Coalition

“We applaud the Administration and CEQ for advancing this proposal which would be the first comprehensive update to NEPA in over 40 years. Much has changed in our nation’s environmental and regulatory landscape since the 1970s. What was once a useful tool to ensure that agencies were collaborating with one another to review truly important projects or permits has now become a tool of dysfunction, bureaucracy run amok and a magnet for frivolous litigation. Approving Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for our nation’s federal highways now takes an average of seven years and numerous other important infrastructure projects have been delayed by a decade or more. For the good of our country, these updates rightfully insert some much needed predictability, clarity, and plain common sense to help make the federal government work more effectively for the people they serve.”

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Federal Forest Resource Coalition

“For too long, the National Environmental Policy Act has been misused to slow down and stymie needed forest management on our public lands. As a result, Federal forests have been left in an unhealthy, overstocked condition that has made them vulnerable to insects, disease, and wildfire. By streamlining NEPA, the Administration is working to protect our environment and our economy while reducing unnecessary delays and redundant analysis. We look forward to supporting this important set of reforms.”

Bill Imbergamo, Federal Forest Resource Coalition

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The Fertilizer Institute

“The Fertilizer Institute supports the Council for Environmental Quality’s efforts to revise the National Environmental Policy Act regulations to restore the original Congressional intent of the law to “help public officials make decision that are based on understanding of environmental consequences, and to take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the environment.” However, over the past 50 years, the regulations have evolved into a legal framework which has unnecessarily stalled or prevented phosphate and potash mining projects in the United States. These process-based delay tactics do not reflect environmental impacts and only serve to increase project costs and permitting delays. One TFI member company has committed over $20 Million to a permit with an approval process of over 11 years.  TFI believes the revisions to NEPA will ensure federal regulations continue to protect the environment without causing unnecessary negative impact to the business community.”

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Florida Business Associations Coalition

“In Florida one of the top issues we hear about is infrastructure and investing in projects that will move our state forward. These NEPA reforms will create local jobs, bring investment dollars back home, and reinforce our civic pride. Despite the many benefits these reforms will bring to our economy, we are concerned about the misinformation being spread about this proposal. In line with the intended purpose of NEPA, CEQ’s proposal still requires federal agencies to consider environmental impacts of a proposed action, including ecological, natural resources, aesthetic, and health effects. It creates no new environmental review exceptions for any projects. The reforms also reaffirm the current processes providing for robust public participation.”

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Hampton Roads Utility & Heavy Contractors Association (VA)

“NEPA’s purpose is to provide information to policymakers to help them make more informed decisions about projects that may affect our environment. That’s why I’m encouraged to see new provisions in the proposed rule that require agencies to specifically seek certain types of information, summarize that information in their reviews, and make clear that issues raised outside of the normal public comment period aren’t fair game to be used to second-guess final decisions later on down the road. That’s good government 101 and will help cut down on unnecessary and costly litigation, which doesn’t just cost big businesses; it also costs the local communities where projects are built, in the form of lost jobs and lost tax revenues.”

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Independent Petroleum Association of America

 

“The Trump administration has taken a bold step to modernize the NEPA process. The new rule updates 40 year old regulations by reducing unnecessary paperwork, settling timelines for environmental reviews and reduced frivolous litigation efforts designed to simply stall or delay vital infrastructure projects. Prior to this new NEPA rule, building or updating energy infrastructure on federal lands could be held up in review for years with no decision in sight. IPAA’s members fully support environmental protections, smart regulations and community input on projects. However, many times the NEPA review process takes longer to complete than it takes to actually finish the project. The time has come to modernize the outdated NEPA regulations and bring the process into the 21st Century. Developing a regulatory program that provides timely decisions brings much needed certainty to businesses and their employees who are trying to plan for the long term and assure labor, equipment and materials can be available when needed…”

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Michigan Association of Timbermen

“…[W]e support all the proposed changes that would help to streamline the NEPA process and add clarity and uniformity to those agencies tasked with preparing NEPA documentation. Michigan has 20 million acres of forest land with 249,218 acres of Federal forest land within that are in need of forest restoration work that includes thinning the forest. Under the current status quo of NEPA regulations, we will continue to watch more and more of these acres/forests decimate, releasing millions of tons of CO2 in the environment while our bedrock of environmental laws, the National Environmental Policy Act, continues to be the largest impediment to allowing us to properly manage and improve the health of those forests.”

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Mining and Metallurgical Society of America

“MMSA strongly supports the Council’s effort to streamline and improve the NEPA process to require a hard look at the environmental impacts of major federal projects, and not to stop projects in their tracks through a gauntlet of bureaucratic delay or endless litigation. As the current revisions represent the first major attempt in more than 40 years to update the NEPA rules, these reforms are long-overdue.”

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Montana Logging Association

“MLA supports the streamlining and making NEPA more efficient and is appreciative of submitting comments. With Montana ranked near the top for acres at risk for wildfire MLA supports all efforts to increase pace and scale of these acres. This can only be achieved with reducing the burdensome and litigious working environment the USDA Forest Service must follow in regards to NEPA. Timber outputs from the National Forests declined from over 5.7 Billion Board Feet (in 1991) to just over 1.5 Billion Board Feet in 2002; a dramatic decline of more than 73 percent. Harvest levels have yet to fully recover to the roughly 6.2 Billion Board Feet called for in current National Forest Plans. As a result of this dramatic decline in harvest activity, the National Forest System has suffered unprecedented declines in forest health resulting from overstocking, stand stagnation, and drought stress. In 1999, the Forest Service said that about 39 million acres of National Forest lands were “at high risk from catastrophic fires.” Today, that total has skyrocketed to over 89 million acres.”

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National Association of Counties and National Association of County Engineers

“As co-regulators and intergovernmental partners with federal agencies, counties have a direct interest in any proposed changes to the NEPA process. Counties support revising NEPA in order to strengthen the involvement of local governments in the federal decision-making process, including clarifying the cooperating agency definition, and to expedite project analyses that deliver final decisions in a more timely and effective manner.”

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National Association of Home Builders

“The plan to reform the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the most recent example of the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to reduce harmful regulations that hurt small businesses and impede economic growth. Updating NEPA will streamline the federal permitting process and allow badly needed transportation and infrastructure projects to move forward. In turn, this will build strong communities and support a thriving housing market.”

Greg Ugalde, Chairman, National Association of Home Builders

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National Association of Manufacturers

“Manufacturers are committed to smart, strong environmental protections, improving the lives of all Americans and building a more inclusive future together. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to strengthen U.S. manufacturing capabilities and operations. Onshoring manufacturing requires first establishing basic infrastructure—from water and energy delivery to transportation—before ground can ever be broken on a major facility. Obtaining permits for these items can take years, especially when environmental reviews are piecemeal, but CEQ’s bold steps today utilize existing authority to strengthen reviews, reduce the time necessary to obtain permits and set the stage to incentivize job creation and investment in America.”

Rachel Jones, Vice President of Energy & Resources Policy, NAM

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National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

“Whether on public lands or private, ranchers provide critical improvements to rangelands and infrastructure. This includes maintaining fences, water structures, and roads, and reducing fuel loads that cause catastrophic wildfires. Approachable and implementable NEPA rules are necessary for all cattle producers to ensure that they have access to important USDA programs. When NEPA stands in the way of progress, both ranchers and rural communities suffer. Wildlife that depend on water sources, individuals who utilize roadways, and even communities at risk of wildfire are impacted. We need to ensure those common-sense practices that benefit our rangelands are not the subject of unnecessary federal regulation.” 

Ethan Lane, Vice President of Government Affairs, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

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National Mining Association

“NMA strongly supports the Council [on Environmental Quality]’s proactive effort to improve the NEPA process by returning NEPA to its original intent, which is to require a hard look at the environmental impacts of major federal projects, not to stop projects in their tracks. Such reforms are long-overdue and have been promised for decades under numerous administrations yet have failed to materialize. NEPA is often portrayed as a sacrosanct law, with any proposed revisions condemned as prioritizing development over the environment. Such extreme viewpoints create a false dichotomy— the goals of a healthy environment and healthy economy are not mutually exclusive.”

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National Ocean Industries Association

“An unprecedented economic crisis needs a historic comeback. The Trump Administration has carefully modernized NEPA so that critical projects can escape endless bureaucratic red tape and lawsuits and get to work with their shovel-ready jobs, while still ensuring a thorough environmental analysis. A smarter NEPA foundation means that many energy and infrastructure projects have the certainty and clarity to finally move forward under the same high level of safety and environmental stewardship Americans demand. A brighter future awaits countless projects, including planned offshore wind farms up and down the Atlantic Coast with the billions of dollars of investment and tens of thousands of American jobs they will bring. These changes to NEPA are critically important policy to both investment and environmental stewardship. Our members are ready to work.”

Erik Milito, President, NOIA

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National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

“Regulatory hurdles under NEPA have triggered reliability challenges and forced electric co-ops and their communities to endure costly project delays. We support the spirit of NEPA, and these sensible modernizations are long overdue. Today’s announcement will ensure that environmental reviews and decisions involving multiple agencies are synchronized and efficient. These reforms will provide electric co-ops much-needed clarity and certainty as they continue to diversify their energy portfolios and increase the resiliency of their systems. Both necessitate the modernization or construction of new electric transmission and distribution facilities.”

Jim Matheson, CEO, NRECA

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National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association

Years-long delays in permitting infrastructure projects, often caused by duplicative agency actions and unnecessary lawsuits harm many communities ability to construct roads, bridges, highways, airports, and all types of public works projects. That is why the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) is pleased with the Administration’s ongoing work to streamline unnecessary permitting process and supports this draft rule which brings much needed modernization and clarity to the NEPA process– while still maintaining strong environmental protections. Today’s action is a critical step in ensuring our nation rebuilds our infrastructure in a more timely manner,” said Michele Stanley, NSSGA Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs.

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National Taxpayers Union

For taxpayers and private investors that finance these projects, it should be unacceptable that these needless delays continue to swell. The United States has a long tradition of building impressive structures, and the government-driven delays ingrained into our permitting process undermines this history… These reforms will allow builders to employ more workers and bring their infrastructure projects online ahead of schedule and under budget.”

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Natural Gas Supply Association

“We applaud the Administration’s final rule to modernize and clarify NEPA. NGSA has supported the Council on Environmental Quality’s efforts to update NEPA regulations, which will facilitate effective and timely reviews of infrastructure projects needed to serve consumers, all while ensuring continued thorough and comprehensive environmental reviews. This final rule provides a clear roadmap for agencies’ environmental reviews, fosters fewer delays and promotes better decision-making for vital energy infrastructure.” 

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New Mexico Federal Lands Council

“The NMFLC, its’ members, and ranch families and communities have long been concerned with the NEPA process and its’ critical impacts on people, animals, both wild and domestic as well as the land and water. NEPA has long been biased against livestock grazers and many others. Permit holders have long been the last to know and last to be considered in most NEPA processed historically…this first revision in 40 years is a breath of fresh air and we are greatly appreciative for this giant step forward… ”

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North America’s Building Trades Unions

“NABTU supports reforms to NEPA that provide regulatory certainty through the permitting process while maintaining the integrity of underlying regulations that protect the health and safety of our members on the jobsite as well as the environmental and human impacts of projects in communities throughout the country.  Endless delays, limited transparency and agency ambiguity far too often prevent project sponsors, our hard working members, and the public from realizing the benefits of impactful investments in all manner of projects.  Common sense reforms and interagency accountability are long overdue.”

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North Carolina NEPA Coalition

“As North Carolinians committed to rebuilding our local infrastructure and investing in future innovation and progress, we write in support of the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) efforts to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the first time in over 40 years. Updating NEPA will improve our infrastructure, spur economic growth and increase our stewardship of the environment both in North Carolina and across the country.”

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Off Road Business Association, One Voice for Off-Road Motorized Recreation, United Snowmobile Alliance, and United Four Wheel Drive Association

“The above Organizations welcome the opportunity to voice support for the revisions to the CEQ NEPA procedures guidance (“The Proposal”), which the Organizations believe would be a major step forward in the effective and efficient management of many challenges. Many of the current regulations and concepts are simply out of date.”

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Ohio NEPA Coalition

“NEPA reviews touch almost every part of our economy – from highways to railroads, grazing to timber, manufacturing to energy and airports to seaports. It even touches parts of the economy yet to be fully realized. Reducing delays and uncertainties associated with infrastructure investment and related projects has the potential to support more and better-paying jobs throughout the country”

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Portland Cement Association

“The cement industry applauds the Trump Administration for its commitment to deregulation with the finalization of NEPA modernization and removing the regulatory roadblocks preventing construction of critical and resilient infrastructure, better roads and highways, and access to affordable clean energy, said Sean O’Neill, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs at the Portland Cement Association. NEPA modernization will ensure that federal permitting requirements will advance our nation’s environmental, energy, and economic goals and no longer impose unnecessarily long roadblocks.” 

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Public Lands Council

“The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has, since its creation, evolved into both the most impactful federal environmental process to the ranching industry and the most effective weapon in the arsenal of radical environmental activists. Through relentless, process-based litigation across the range, these groups have transformed NEPA from its original purpose – analysis of potential impacts stemming from a major federal action – into a black hole of endless fear-driven processes initiated by federal agencies in the hope that such analysis might prevent legal challenge to otherwise proper and appropriate science-based decision-making. The reality is that no amount of NEPA will satisfy these groups. Rather, they have mastered the use of litigation to force their way into the process as a stakeholder – often with a much more influential voice than that of ranchers or others with an actual interest/impact.”

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Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

“It is vital to all Americans that U.S. infrastructure have the capacity to meet the demands of our modern economy. When inefficient rules and red tape get in the way of building modern infrastructure in a timely and affordable way, it is in the national interest to address refinements that align with current needs. That effort has been successfully accomplished by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in modernizing NEPA provisions, where proposed rules have struck a balance between protecting the environment and reintroducing the importance of ensuring reviews are executed in a cost-effective and timely manner. Reducing NEPA delays, red tape, and costs will allow the public and our economy to more quickly reap the benefits of modern infrastructure, which will save time and money for individuals and small businesses alike, and improve environmental conditions through less congestion, faster routes and the projects that promote energy efficiency and alternatives.”

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The Wireless Infrastructure Association

“It has been over forty years since the CEQ last completed a substantial update of its NEPA regulations, and WIA commends the CEQ for seeking to update the regulations in light of current technologies and agency practices. The United States remains at a critical moment in the global race to 5G. Wireless providers in the U.S. are in the process of upgrading their networks, deploying 5G, and providing better service to more places; however, counterparts in foreign countries are also rapidly upgrading their networks. Enhanced 5G networks will yield numerous benefits to our country, from economic opportunities to advances in science, education, and industry, but the U.S. risks falling behind and potential losing out if outdated regulations slow down deployment. This NPRM presents a great opportunity to update the regulations implementing NEPA, so they can take into account advances in technology while also maintaining Congress’ goals of protecting our environment”

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United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry

“The United Association appreciates the opportunity to comment on this rulemaking in support of the measures proposed in the NPRM. The United Association believes that the measures proposed in the NPRM make common-sense improvements to NERA’s procedures that would reduce uncertainty and unnecessary delay and help to facilitate the best outcomes for critical federal projects.”

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Virginia NEPA Coalition

“As the Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to rebuilding our local infrastructure and investing in future innovation and progress, we write in support of the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) efforts to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the first time in over 40 years. While CEQ’s current regulations were intended to ensure that federal agencies evaluate the environmental impact of proposed major Federal actions, the NEPA process has increasingly been used to block infrastructure development and investment in key projects. The review process has become unnecessarily complex, unreasonably time-consuming, and uncertain. Updating NEPA will improve our infrastructure, spur economic growth, and increase our stewardship of the environment. For those reasons, we ask that you finalize this important proposal that will benefit all Americans.”

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Women’s Mining Coalition

The Women’s Mining Coalition (WMC) strongly supports the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ’s) proposed rule1 to update the regulations implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) at 40 CFR Parts 1500 – 1508. We applaud the CEQ for recognizing the urgent need to update these regulations, which were promulgated over 40 years ago. CEQ’s proposed changes to its NEPA regulations appropriately reflect that today’s environmental protection laws and regulations fill the environmental review and protection gap that NEPA sought to fill in 1969. Consequently, CEQ’s proposed changes to its NEPA regulations are a much-needed and long overdue update in light of the many post-NEPA federal and state environmental protection and environmental review statutes.

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Governor Greg Abbot (TX)

“I applaud the CEQ’s efforts to streamline the NEPA review process, reduce unnecessary and redundant regulatory burdens, and clarify longstanding CEQ regulations. Restoring efficiency in the NEPA review process will enhance public safety, improve environmental outcomes, and deliver cost benefits to consumers. I strongly support programmatic NEPA reform at the CEQ and individual agency levels, and look forward to its implementation.”

Representative Ralph Abraham (LA-05)

“If our country is serious about cutting red tape, fostering growth in the private sector, and paving the way for a major infrastructure renewal, streamlining the NEPA review process is a critical step. This final rule is proof that we can protect our environment without sacrificing growth and opportunity. I applaud President Trump for satisfying yet another promise in his pro-growth agenda that will benefit the American people in many ways.”

Representative Kelly Armstrong (ND-At Large)

“It’s beyond frustrating to see important infrastructure projects delayed due to the federal bureaucracy. Every delay costs jobs and has a ripple effect throughout the economy. This overhaul will streamline the federal permitting process and will help our country expand, update, and rebuild our infrastructure for the 21st century.”

Senator John Barrasso (WY)

“President Trump is cutting red tape to help get our economy back in the black. These updates will make the National Environmental Policy Act work better for the American people. Right now, important construction projects are being slowed down because of lengthy government permitting processes and lawsuits. The administration is making this process more predictable and efficient. We can protect the environment and move our economy forward at the same time. This rule gets that done.” 

State Representative Susan Beckman (CO-38)

“This is good news. As an Arapahoe County Commissioner, I saw firsthand the layers of bureaucracy and red tape added to transportation projects. One intersection, I-25 and Arapahoe Road, was bogged down for years with redundant, expensive and inefficient NEPA requirements. These requirements did nothing to protect the environment and only added time and massive expense to the project. I am so pleased with this Administration for streamlining the process for needed transportation projects without jeopardizing our environment. This will save time, money and allow local and state elected officials to focus on real environmental concerns.”

Representative Andy Biggs (AZ-05)

“I applaud the Council on Environmental Quality’s imminent plans to reform the broken National Environmental Policy Act.  By preparing to take this action, the Trump administration is making life easier for Americans by streamlining unnecessary and costly regulations.  This overhaul will maintain public transparency and better fulfill the needs of western states.” 

Representative Rob Bishop (UT-01)

“Every administration for the past half a century has tried to untangle the mess Congress created by writing NEPA in the way it did. The House and Senate was smoking something when they enacted the obscure and flowery text of that 1965 law, and since then the courts, private business, and now special interest groups have spent unfathomable resources defining it for them. That’s not the way our form of government is supposed to work. Enacted with noble intent to expand public input and enhance environmentally conscious decisions, NEPA has morphed into a tool for excessive litigation to slow or block economic activity, including crucial projects to support clean water, affordable energy, and essential infrastructure. Today, the Administration made good on another promise to the American people. With this rule, we will have a modern environmental review process and greater regulatory certainty. Work in Congress remains to build upon and reinforce the critical work enshrined in this rule.”

Commissioner Joel Bousman (WY-Sublette County)

“In Sublette County, Wyoming, it took 15 years to complete the NEPA required to simply renew livestock grazing in the Upper Green River Valley in western Wyoming. The Final Rule will appropriately address the time required for a decision. Sublette County, Wyoming is in strong support of CEQ’s Final Rule updating its NEPA Regulations.”

County Engineer Brian Bremmer (UT-Garfield County)

“In December 2011, as a result ofthe Dixie Motorized Travel Plan that closed 75 percent of existing forest roads to public travel, Garfield County, Utah filed a Data Quality and Regulatory Flexibility Act Challenge to overturn the decision. The U.S. Forest Service responded by agreeing to conduct what they called a “Need for Change NEPA” action if the county would withdraw/suspend the challenge.  The new NEPA process began in spring of 2012 and has been a fiasco ever since. In spite of overwhelming public input asking for roads to be re-opened, the Forest Services has thrown up road blocks every step of the way. Now, in January 2020 – nearly eight years after the initiation of the NEPA process – the Forest Service has yet to produce a viable alternative or a draft alternative and has completely failed in its commitment.  In fact, we hear that it is likely the Forest Supervisor is cancelling the NEPA project altogether, leaving us exactly where we were eight years ago with a completely inadequate transportation plan. It is a classic example of a federal agency’s inability to complete NEPA in a timely manner.”

Governor Doug Burgum (ND)

“Modernizing our roads, pipelines, flood protection and other critical infrastructure is crucial to the safety and economic success of North Dakotans and all Americans, and such projects deserve a timely, efficient and effective environmental review. The 40-year-old NEPA process has become overly complex and time-consuming, resulting in unnecessary delays, litigation and inflated costs that ultimately fall on taxpayers. We appreciate the Trump administration and CEQ for finalizing these streamlined, common-sense rules, which will return the process to the original spirit of NEPA by ensuring timely reviews, retaining the focus on environmental stewardship and expanding public participation.”

Representative Ken Calvert (CA-42)

“Building the infrastructure our country desperately needs and protecting our environment are not mutually exclusive goals. The updates being made to NEPA today will enable communities across the country to build the infrastructure necessary to support their economic growth in a timely manner that maintains balanced environmental protections.”

Representative Liz Cheney (WY-At Large)

“I applaud the Trump administration’s commitment to streamlining burdensome NEPA requirements, which have obstructed energy development and critical infrastructure projects in Wyoming. For too long, NEPA’s out-of-date regulations have been abused by far-left environmental extremists to silence
the voice of local stakeholders in our state, delaying vital improvements to Wyoming’s roads,
bridges, and waterways. President Trump is continuing to fulfill his promise to get the
government off the backs of hardworking Americans by decreasing overreach and red tape.”

“These reforms are a step forward for Ravalli County. We will be able to protect our environment into the future while enhancing our infrastructure and our economy while increasing the resiliency of our national forests.”

Representative Paul Cook (CA-08)

“NEPA was initially a well-intended policy, but it’s long past due for an overhaul. Too many beneficial infrastructure projects are being needlessly held up by overly bureaucratic regulations, costing taxpayers money and deferring jobs for American workers. This change would improve the environmental review process while also cutting through the red tape to ensure timely and safe construction of necessary projects like roads, bridges, and water storage facilities. I strongly support this action.”

Representative Jeff Duncan (SC-03)

“The Trump Administration should be commended for modernizing the National Environmental Policy Act regulations, a move that has been long overdue. These regulations haven’t seen a comprehensive update in over 40 years, so I’m pleased to see President Trump deliver on his promise to streamline outdated processes, eliminate red-tape, and create efficient standards in order to properly evaluate environmental impacts in the 21st century.”

Governor Mike Dunleavy (AK)

 “I thank the Trump Administration for working to modernize and clarify the 40-year-old NEPA regulations. All Alaskans will benefit from an update to NEPA as it impacts many facets of our state, from construction of roads and highways, to energy projects, to land and forest management. We look forward to seeing this process unfold and the impact it will have on furthering Alaska’s opportunity for business and resource development projects within our state.”

Assemblyman Chris Edwards (NV-19)

“Interstate 11 (I-11) will connect Phoenix to Las Vegas, the two largest cities in America not linked by a federal interstate highway. The first portion of I-11 opened a year ago in my district and we are extremely optimistic about this important infrastructure project. The future Intermountain West Corridor will use I-11 to connect the shipping ports in Southern Arizona to Nevada and existing interstates in the Northwest. An economic analysis found the I-11 corridor will create 250,000 permanent jobs and generate more than $20 billion for the U.S. economy. While the final route is still being determined, much of the project involves linking and expanding existing highways and interstates. The excessive costs of redundant NEPA analysis has slowed construction of this critical transportation corridor and ones like it across the country. The environmental analysis in Nevada alone is expected to take three years and cost $5 million. I applaud the Trump administration for taking action to reform the broken NEPA process and create a more efficient permitting system. This is long overdue! The President’s actions today are another common sense reform that will allow vital infrastructure projects to move forward safely and expeditiously in Nevada, Arizona and across America.”

Representative Greg Gianforte (MT-At Large)

“I applaud the efforts of the Trump Administration to ensure that NEPA is returned to a process that ensures infrastructure projects are mindful of the environment and not a tool of serial litigants to block all development.”

Representative Bob Gibbs (0H-07)

“The Trump Administration’s regulatory reform agenda continues to move in the right direction. I hear from countless local governments, public utility operators, and other stakeholders who run into the same problems of red tape and bureaucratic delays. In 2014, I worked to streamline the permitting process for Army Corps of Engineer projects, a bipartisan success that makes it easier to complete water resource projects in a timely manner. Today’s announcement of reforming the NEPA process continues the great work we started in 2014 to ensure infrastructure projects are completed on-time, on-budget, and most importantly, safely.”

Representative Paul Gosar (AZ-04)

“Enacted with the best intentions in mind, NEPA has been hijacked by serial litigants to halt construction on critical infrastructure projects. Under the guise of environmental protection, special interest groups have stopped new roads and bridges, transmission lines, pipelines, and even offshore wind projects dead in their tracks. Today’s announcement shows the Trump administration’s commitment to ensuring the government works better for the people. Streamlining NEPA will create a more efficient and certain time line for new projects, while ensuring we safeguard our environment for the future.” 

Governor Mark Gordon (WY)

“Uncertainty is never good for proper development and it has been particularly problematic in Wyoming, especially in light of recent court rulings regarding NEPA-related greenhouse gas emission analyses. States like Wyoming need assurance that projects will be properly analyzed the first time around so that decisions on the ground can be made in a timely manner. I support CEQ’s efforts to streamline federal agency guidance under this proposed rule.”

Representative Sam Graves (MO-06)

“The President is a builder. He knows firsthand how slow, inefficient, and costly the federal review and permitting processes can be for projects both large and small.  I applaud the Administration for its efforts to modernize the NEPA process and inject some common sense into environmental reviews. Streamlining the review of proposed roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure projects will save the taxpayers money while maintaining necessary protections for the environment, public safety, and human health.  I look forward to seeing this long overdue modernization of the NEPA regulations move forward.”

Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04)

“Since his first day in office, President Trump has pledged to cut bureaucratic red tape, and this overhaul of NEPA is another promise kept. While originally well-intentioned, NEPA has morphed into a vehicle for perpetual litigation, and it is just another illustration of government-imposed regulations continuing to burden hardworking Americans and the economy. In our region specifically, excessive delays have stalled critical infrastructure projects like the I-49 Inner City Connector, which has been held up in the NEPA process for nearly eight years. I applaud the Trump administration for putting the American people first by streamlining these crippling policies.”

Representative Doug LaMalfa (CA-01)

“Californians can afford to wait no longer for the government to do the forest management on its lands and the infrastructure overhauls needed to protect them from wildfires and droughts. The recent fires and power shut offs underline these needs as our constituents have suffered enough NEPA reform is a much-needed change from the current delays that prohibit forestry, water management, power line clearing and upgrades and wildfire prevention projects in my district from getting done. I applaud the Trump administration for once again cutting the red tape to protect rural communities in the West from future catastrophic disasters.”

Commissioner Christian Leinbach (PA-Berks County)

“NEPA is exemplary of a law (and accompanying regulations promulgated by the executive agencies that must implement the law’s intent) that no one could argue with at face value. It is only when enmeshed in the details of the process that it becomes apparent how overreaching the law is. Reform of the process must include consideration of the reasonableness of costs of compliance, the tangible/physical existence of the potential impacts, and the need for expediency in completion of public projects that benefit the common good.”

Governor Brad Little (ID)

“NEPA has transitioned from its original intent of simply requiring certain procedures to provide for informed decision making into a significant and inefficient regulatory burden. The current process has consistently resulted in the unreasonable delay of projects that are critical for the state’s economical, ecological, and infrastructural wellbeing. It is imperative that these rules governing NEPA be revised to facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely NEPA reviews by federal agencies, and the State of Idaho is supportive of the effort by the CEQ to do so.”

Commissioner Randy Maluchnik (MN-Carver County)

“Streamlining the permitting process is a win for the Carver County economy. We welcome the reforms offered by the administration, which will allow us to create and sustain our infrastructure, grow our economy and continue to protect our environment.”

Representative Roger Marshall (KS-01)

“For far too long burdensome and lengthy permitting and regulatory processes have slowed and even destroyed infrastructure and energy projects across Kansas. Government regulations are one of the top concerns for businesses in my district and unnecessary delays in projects hurt business owners, communities and local economies. These studies and permits are necessary for proper development, but they need to be timely and economically feasible. I applaud President Trump’s Council on Environmental Quality for its efforts to overhaul and streamline the environmental permitting process.”

Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02)

“NEPA regulations affect a wide range of projects from construction of roads to land and forest management. Current NEPA regulations have become overbearing and difficult for people to navigate. The Trump Administration’s proposal to modernize the regulations and cut red tape just makes sense. This new rule will allow us to move faster on construction projects while still ensuring we are keeping our environment safe and clean.”

Commissioner Todd Nash (OR-Wallowa County)

“Federal staff has been overburdened with the ever-increasing length and detail of NEPA documents with fewer successes to show for their efforts. Timber, grazing, recreation, and mining management on U.S. Forest Service and BLM lands have suffered at the hands of more regulation, litigation, and stagnation. As a county commissioner in a county with over 50% of its land base managed by federal agencies these new policies are exactly what is needed. The emphasis on the social and economic needs of our communities has been overshadowed by regulatory agencies that have single-minded priorities. I’m looking forward to healthier forests and communities.”

Representative Dan Newhouse (WA-04)

“Overregulation and unnecessary permitting delays have had negative impacts on our communities for decades, especially in rural areas,” said Rep. Newhouse. “NEPA in its current form exemplifies ‘bureaucratic red tape’ – with evaluations taking up to 6 years to complete. Our constituents cannot afford these delays when trying to renew, maintain, or develop critical infrastructure projects across the country. Earlier this year, Republican Whip Scalise and I led 130 Members of Congress in a letter to support CEQ’s efforts to modernize NEPA, and I am glad to see the Administration following through on this regulatory relief. This rule will finally allow for a streamlined permitting approach, encourage environmental stewardship, and incentivize investment in our rural communities across the West and beyond.”

Commissioner Leland Pollock (UT-Garfield County)

“In the Dixie National Forest, issues with the NEPA process led to the eventual shutdown of our local timber mill, costing 400 good-paying jobs in our community. Special interest groups were able to sue over minor NEPA technicalities, harming our local economy. This also led to massive fuel build ups that made it possible for the Brian Head Fire to burn more than 71,000 acres of forestland, destroying 13 homes. It also decimated the drinking water supply for Panguitch, Utah, which was supplied by a spring system that functioned flawlessly for over 100 years before the fire. It is imperative that the NEPA process be streamlined to prevent these tragedies moving forward and to improve the health of our landscapes.”

Governor Pete Ricketts (NE)

“Thank you to President Trump for his continued focus on cutting red tape and empowering states. Simplifying the NEPA process and making it more transparent will help states deliver the infrastructure we need to grow our communities in a more effective and more efficient manner.”

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05)

“When I was first elected to Congress, I chaired a bipartisan task force with now Senator Tom Udall that made recommendations to update and improve NEPA. In any proposed project, we should involve stakeholders and interested parties early on and seek a more collaborative approach. The current process often results in years of delay, additional costs, and litigation. What started as a single paragraph statute in 1969 has turned into pages and pages of rules and regulations—and thousands of court cases—that slow and obstruct important projects. Thank you to the Trump administration for leading in addressing the NEPA process so we can move forward on projects that improve our forest health, develop our clean energy resources, and rebuild our aging infrastructure.”

Representative Steve Scalise (LA-01)

“I applaud the Trump Administration’s update to the NEPA review process, which will cut down on bureaucratic red-tape hindering national and local projects. Through a more efficient and less complex permitting process, we can more efficiently construct energy infrastructure, coastal restoration, and flood protection projects in Louisiana and across the country while still protecting our environment. While Democrats propose new job killing legislative proposals, this announcement is a strong step in the right direction and will result in more shovels in the ground on projects that improve Americans’ everyday lives.”

State Senator Ray Scott (CO-7)

“Revamping of NEPA has been needed for a decade or more as the requirements have slowed down much needed infrastructure for broadband expansion, roads and natural resource development. President Trump kept his promise to reduce regulations and these changes will certainly put more Americans to work. Colorado needs all the help we can get to advance new infrastructure projects to support our fast paced growth.”

Representative Pete Stauber (MN-08)

“Overhaul of NEPA is absolutely necessary. I stand with the Trump Administration in ensuring commonsense regulations protect our environment without needlessly providing ammunition to the most extreme environmentalist groups that seek to undermine any project for the sake of litigating. Timely reviews will provide certainty to companies and will expedite putting our hardworking unions to work in northern Minnesota.”

Governor Kevin Stitt (OK)

“I applaud President Trump’s willingness to modernize and clarify the NEPA process. For far too long this framework has been used to create obstacles and cause unnecessary delays to important projects that are necessary to grow our economies, create jobs, and improve our quality of life. The Trump Administration’s effort to reform the NEPA process is consistent with our goals for the Great State of Oklahoma of promoting a prosperous economy and protecting our precious natural resources with a predictable, consistent and reasonable regulatory framework.”

Representative Greg Walden (OR-02)

“I applaud CEQ for continuing the Trump Administration’s efforts to implement needed streamlining to the NEPA planning processes across federal agencies. These efforts will help ensure we can implement forest management projects to reduce the threat of wildfire on our communities and improve our nation’s transportation and energy infrastructure to meet our needs into the future. Modernizing this process is long overdue and is welcome news for rural Oregon.”

Representative Bruce Westerman (AR-04)

“If there’s one word to describe government approval processes, it’s inefficient. That’s why this plan to cut back on red tape and streamline a time-consuming process is so important. While some groups have tried to weaponize NEPA and use it as a delay tactic, that was never the intended goal. Hardworking Americans are asking for quicker, easier approvals for their projects, and these proposed changes would do just that, while maintaining the highest standards of environmental stewardship. I applaud CEQ for this plan and hope to continue working to make NEPA as efficient and workable as possible 

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