Chair Grijalva Statement on Newly Finalized NEPA Regulations

Washington D.C. – Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on finalization of the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Phase One rulemaking for regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Phase One rulemaking restores certain regulatory protections that were eliminated by the Trump administration in 2020. Phase Two rulemaking will comprehensively update NEPA regulations to meet climate change and environmental justice needs in accordance with statutory requirements. 

“The previous administration stripped and gutted NEPA protections, effectively blocking federal agencies from taking climate change and public input into account when they make major decisions that affect our environment and the health of our communities. I’m glad this administration recognizes how egregiously wrong those actions were and is moving forward to restore the protections that have helped protect our environment while promoting sustainable development for decades.

“But the work here isn’t done. With investments from the historic Infrastructure Law going out the door as we speak, this administration needs to complete the second phase of rulemaking and they need to do it soon. Without a strengthened NEPA and public engagement process, these investments could very well fall short of their full potential to advance equity and environmental justice for all communities.”

On March 18, 2021, Chair Grijalva, Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the Environmental Justice For All Act, which would strengthen NEPA by codifying and enhancing early, accessible, and meaningful community involvement opportunities.

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