Today the Department of the Interior hosted its second and final public hearing to consider important National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) updates that were announced by President Trump earlier this year.
Since announcing intentions to reform NEPA, the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality released a series of studies on the environmental review process. Findings include:
- The average Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) completion time was 4.5 years.
- 25% of EISs took more than 6 years.
- From 2010 – 2017 there were 35 projects that took 10 years to complete its EIS.
- Draft EISs across all federal agencies averaged 586 pages.
- 25% of draft EISs across all federal agencies were 630 pages or longer.
- Final EISs across all federal agencies averaged 669 pages in length.
- Increase in pages from draft to final EIS averaged an additional 83 pages, or a 14% increase.
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“Today’s hearing is a positive step forward for our nation’s regulatory environment. Intended as a commonsense regulation, NEPA has transformed into a burdensome web of hurdles that too often stymy infrastructure projects of all kinds, including key advancements to the U.S. energy network. The Administration’s proposed rule changes are welcome reforms that should streamline the permitting and approval process for infrastructure projects while still maintaining the integrity of environmental protections.”