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Alert: CEQ is proposing major changes to NEPA -- public comments requested

  • 1.  Alert: CEQ is proposing major changes to NEPA -- public comments requested

    Posted 07-14-2018 21:39

    Some background: In August of last year, President Trump issued Executive Order 13807 directing the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), a division of the Executive Office of the President, to review rules related to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which are 40 CFR parts 1500-1508. The goal of this directive was to "enhance and modernize the Federal environmental review and authorization process." But, fundamentally, the entire process for NEPA is potentially up in the air and could change -- for good or bad. Note that speed and efficiency are being prioritized in these changes, not better ways to protect the environment (natural and cultural). The CEQ responded to the Executive Order by posting a list of twenty questions asking the public to provide feedback on the NEPA rules.

    I would highly suggest that everyone consider posting a comment in response to CEQ's request, especially if you work in the cultural resource management field. A lot of what's being asked is how to speed up NEPA through coordination efforts with other processes. Although Section 106 isn't specifically mentioned, you can bet it's on the table.

    The request for comments went live on June 20, 2018 and as of Friday, there were only 439 comments, which is an embarrassment to our field and the broader field of environmental conservation. Luckily the deadline has been extended to August 20, 2018. NEPA may have problems, but what would the process look like if prioritized developers and development over the protection of the environment? This is not too hard to imagine considering the priorities of the current administration.

    For reference, I posted my thoughts, which I shared with CEQ, on my blog.

    Hope to see some other thoughts there as well!


    Jeremy Wells
    Silver Spring MD

  • 2.  RE: Alert: CEQ is proposing major changes to NEPA -- public comments requested

    Posted 08-09-2018 16:21
    Edited by Priya Chhaya 08-10-2018 09:11
    All - Sharee Williamson from our Law department just wrote a blog post about this issue. If you haven't yet submitted comments go check it out for a link for submission and more information. (Thanks Jeremy for posting about this earlier!)

    Here is the post: 

    Priya Chhaya
    Associate Director, Publications and Programs
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC