The Trump administration is making good on its threat to weaken the country’s environmental laws by proposing sweeping changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
This 50-year-old law forms the bedrock of federal environmental protection; it requires that federal agencies take a hard look at potential effects to air, water and other shared resources before a project — be it a highway or a gas pipeline — is approved.
Cynthia Giles and ERI Director Janet McCabe led the offices at EPA in charge of NEPA reviews and air pollution for eight years. In their experience, developers and other project proponents routinely try to dodge the scrutiny NEPA requires. But now, the Trump administration’s proposed rule would embrace these common avoidance strategies and enshrine them in federal regulations.