Press Release | September 29, 2023

Environmental groups urge approval of new NEPA rule 

Letter voices support for changes that require climate and justice considerations 

WASHINGTON — Today on behalf of 85 environmental groups, the Southern Environmental Law Center sent a letter urging the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to move forward with the Biden administration’s proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A long-awaited response to devastating rollbacks by the Trump administration, the proposal strengthens the federal government’s ability to address climate change with clean energy investments and provides clarity and efficiency around the process for major projects. 

“NEPA has a proven track record as the best tool we have to make sure we pick the best projects for the clean energy transition,” said Kym Meyer, SELC Litigation Director. “Done correctly, NEPA ensures that stakeholders coordinate early in the process allowing difficulties to be identified and addressed so that good, equitable projects can move forward in a timely fashion. NEPA is exactly what we need for a swift and equitable clean energy transition.” 

The proposed changes require careful consideration of climate change and environmental justice impacts in the permit process for major projects and continues the rule’s legacy of giving communities a tool to weigh in early to identify conflicts and collaborate on creative solutions. With such ambitious climate and environmental justice goals, the letter states, CEQ must act quickly to both publish the final rule and make sure agencies are equipped with the resources they need to implement it. 

While the letter overwhelmingly supports the proposed rule, it also urges CEQ to reconsider certain provisions that could narrow the scope of environmental reviews, limit opportunities for community input, and leave aspects of the Trump rule in place. 

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Press Contacts

Rachel Chu

Communications Manager (SC)

Phone: 843-720-5270
Email: [email protected]