environmental impact statement
In an effort to streamline NEPA, Congress may only have made parts of it incomprehensible.
Shortly after Biden signed the new NEPA rewrite as part of the debt ceiling law, I wrote a blog post about a major drafting glitch at the heart of the new provisions. Today, I’d like to follow up with more examples. This poor drafting could really hobble implementation of the new provisions. We live in …CONTINUE READING
The new NEPA amendments weren’t intended to speed up the process. But they’ll also spark new litigation.
The Interior Department has a rule that environmental review isn’t required for a prescribed fire of 4,500 acres, subject to restrictions that aren’t relevant here. Prior law authorized this kind of regulation but also required the agency to consider whether a particular fire involved exceptional circumstances, such as being next to a wilderness area. After …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
Celebrating NEPA: America’s Most Transformative, Overarching & Catalytic Environmental Law
On a snowy New Year’s Day in 1970–50 years ago today–then-President Richard Nixon signed into law the National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA’s passage marked the beginning of America’s modern environmental law era. It was followed by Congressional passage of a series of other federal environmental laws over the next decade–major statutes that to this day …CONTINUE READING
Al Gore raised the hackles of the Canadian government this week when he criticized the country’s large scale extraction of oil from the Alberta tar sands. The tar sand oil reserves are among the world’s largest but are particularly energy intensive to extract. That means that extracting oil that will then be burned will emit significantly …CONTINUE READING