Restoring NEPA Is A Vital Step to Make Good on Biden’s Environmental Justice Commitments

In response to the announcement of the finalized Phase 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Regulations, Evergreen Action Chief of Staff Lena Moffitt released the following statement:

“Restoring NEPA protections is a vital step for the Biden administration to make good on the president’s environmental justice and climate commitments and roll back some of the harm inflicted by Donald Trump’s attacks on our bedrock environmental laws. Reinstating the requirement for federal agencies to consider the 'direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts' of a proposed action represents a necessary return to longstanding practice – and is a critical prompt for federal decision-makers to robustly and fully assess the climate impacts of any project before approving it. We applaud Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory for this important milestone in the fight to ensure every American can live in a safe and healthy environment.

“And the administration can and must do more than simply undo the damage done by Trump’s attacks on NEPA. As CEQ crafts its Phase 2 regulation, it must prioritize local input on new developments, swift approval for key clean energy and infrastructure projects, and implementing a climate test and an effective equity screen that incorporates the impacts of generations of environmental racism.”

Evergreen Action called on CEQ to reverse Trump’s attacks on NEPA as part of its 5 to Mobilize recommendations for the council. The full list of recommendations can be found here, and is summarized below:

1. Lead an All-of-Government Environmental Justice Agenda

2. Reverse Trump’s Attacks on NEPA, and Strengthen the Federal Government’s Commitments to Climate and Equity through NEPA Implementation

3. Deploy CEQ Staff to Lead State Climate Mobilization Councils and Build Progressive Climate Federalism

4. Drive Federal Government Commitment to Tribal Sovereignty and Treaty Rights

5. Reinvigorate the CEQ’s Office of the Federal Environmental Executive to Mobilize Climate Action Inside Federal Agencies