The enactment of NEPA 2.0 presents a golden opportunity for the agency.
In the recent debt ceiling law, Congress extensively revamped NEPA, the law governing environmental impact statements. An obscure White House agency, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), will have the first opportunity to shape the interpretation of the new language. Much of the language in the new law is poorly drafted or vague, making CEQ’s …CONTINUE READING
The Debt Ceiling Law Rewrote NEPA. Here’s a map to the new statute.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was passed over fifty years. It created a new tool for environmental protection, the environmental impact statements, It also created the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which issued guidelines of implementing NEPA in 1978. Lawyers will need to retool quickly because of recent changes. Here’s a roadmap …CONTINUE READING
The Debt Ceiling Bill was written under intense time pressure. It shows!
Someone asked me how the new bill defines what kinds of projects have enough federal involvement to require an environmental assessment. I thought I knew the answer. But when I looked carefully at the bill’s language, I realized that it actually can’t mean what I thought it did. In fact, it’s so badly written that …CONTINUE READING
NEPA turns 50 today. Its passage was the beginning of modern environmental law.
Welcome to 2020. Before we start worrying about the year ahead, it’s worth taking a look backward. Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act, usually called NEPA for short. When he signed NEPA into law, President Nixon said: “It is particularly fitting that my first official act in …CONTINUE READING
The CEQ has issued new guidance to agencies regarding the use of mitigation. An environmental impact statement is required when a project has a significant environmental impact. Agencies frequently avoid the need for a full-scale environmental impact statement with plans to mitigate the impacts below the threshold of significance. NEPA aficionados call this a “mitigated …CONTINUE READING
To what extent does the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have to consider the threat of terrorist attack in the environmental analysis it undertakes for nuclear power plant licensing decisions? A March 31 decision from the Third Circuit, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, creates a circuit split on that question. In the …CONTINUE READING
Sunday’s Washington Post reports that a decision is expected soon on whether to deliberately introduce the Suminoe oyster, native to China and Japan, to the Chesapeake Bay. A decision would mark the end of an analytic process that has been going on for more than 10 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a …CONTINUE READING
New Scientist‘s blog, Short Sharp Science, reports that repairs on the proton-smashing Large Hadron Collider at Europe’s CERN may be complete by September. What’s the environmental law connection? You might recall that before the LHC was briefly fired up in September 2008 (it only worked for 9 days before crashing), a lawsuit was filed in …CONTINUE READING