Ag groups celebrate changes to National Environmental Policy Act
The Trump Administration finalized the first substantive regulatory changes to the National Environmental Policy Act since 1986 on Wednesday.
NEPA requires federal agencies to asses the environmental impact of proposed federal actions prior to making decisions.
The administration was praised across the agriculture for modernizing NEPA rules and making the process more efficient and timely.
Here are some of the statements from within the industry:
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association CEO Marty Smith
“The modernized NEPA rule brings common sense back to an important rule that was established to protect our land and water resources........President Trump and his team at the Council on Environmental Quality embraced a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure this country has the strongest possible environmental policy for years to come. They deserve an abundance of thanks. American ranchers that care for hundreds of millions of acres of private and public lands across the United States know the importance of implementing timely improvements based on the best knowledge at hand. These changes ensure NEPA does not delay good management practices.”
Public Lands Council President Bob Skinner
“The process updates to NEPA are celebrated across the West.......Today’s rule recognizes the severe limitations of a policy that had not been updated in more than 40 years. Over the last four decades, ranchers learned and adapted to new needs of wildlife and other rangeland users, but outdated NEPA policy prevented us from responding to many critical situations. The changes finalized today bring NEPA up to date, focus the attention on the real issues at hand, and ensure the government is avoiding speculative and duplicative environmental reviews. Thank you to the Trump Administration for engaging and listening to stakeholders on the ground.”
Agricultural Retailers Association CEO Darren Coppock
“The final rule will speed up the approval process for much-needed infrastructure projects, which will especially benefit the rural communities in which ag retailers and their customers live and work..........The rule does not compromise environmental reviews or public input, in fact the rule will enhance the public’s involvement through better coordination of hearings and more concise, accessible documents for review.”
The Fertilizer Institute CEO Corey Rosenbusch
“NEPA has not been updated in 40 years, and TFI has been supportive of these long overdue changes that improve efficiency of the permitting process and ensure continued environmental protection.......Our industry is focused on providing crop nutrients in a way that ensures farmer profitability and minimizes environmental impact so that we can feed a growing world. To do that we also need to grow, and we need the stability and certainty of a regulatory framework that allows us to do so..........Many of our members have been negatively impacted by outdated NEPA guidelines........One producer, whose story is not unique, has spent the last decade and $20 million dollars in pursuit of a permit to grow jobs and instill economic prosperity in a community still reeling from economic stagnation, only to remain unsure of its ultimate fate.......TFI believes in the original Congressional intent of NEPA, which was to help public officials make decision that are based on the understanding of environmental consequences and to take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the environment..........These revisions will ensure that federal regulations continue to protect the environment without causing unnecessary negative impacts to the business community and allowing what our members to do what they do best: feed the world.”