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Coalition Calls NEPA Directive a “Waste of Taxpayer Money.”

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memo directing federal agencies to prioritize aligning their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures with the finalized Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations. These regulations came into effect on September 14, 2020 as part of the Trump Administration’s strategy to fast track federal review of oil, gas, and infrastructure projects.

The memo states that federal agencies must submit a plan to update their NEPA procedures within 30 days, with final revisions due in September 2021.

Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks Chair Phil Francis called the directive “a waste of taxpayer money and National Park Service staff time, as there are numerous court cases pending challenging the new CEQ regulations.”

These legal challenges include the new regulation’s minimization of public participation in the NEPA process.

The Coalition has submitted extensive comments on the draft regulations and testified at public hearings in Denver and Washington, D.C. on the devastating implications that the new NEPA regulations will have on national parks.

Francis says the organization will continue to push to rescind CEQ’s new NEPA regulations and start over with regulations that align with NEPA’s original intent.