U.S. Chamber: New NEPA Guidance Is Another Obstacle to Building Infrastructure and Developing Projects

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - 4:30pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten issued the following statement today upon the White House’s release of its final guidance for environmental reviews conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):

“While we fully support the fundamental goal of NEPA, which is to ensure that the impact on the environment is considered in proposed federal actions, we are concerned that this expansion of authority goes beyond environmental protection, and in doing so has handed special interests another tool to stop infrastructure development and land management activities in their tracks.

“We are still reviewing the final guidance, but under the new requirements getting approval for projects and land decisions will almost certainly be more challenging. This will obstruct our ability to build badly needed infrastructure of all kinds and render the investments that are being talked about on the campaign trail meaningless. From railroads, bridges, and highways, to energy, forests, and land management—permits will be more difficult to obtain.”

The U.S. Chamber led a multi-association comment letter to the administration on the revised NEPA guidance, which can be found here. The letter to the Council on Environmental Quality set forth a range of objections with the draft guidance.