TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SEEKS TO AMEND NEPA REGULATIONS AND ACCELERATE PERMIT PROCESSING
On January 9, 2020, President Trump announced his intention to update the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) regulations and further stated that such updates were a top priority. This reform would be the first major change NEPA has experienced in over 40 years. As proposed, the NEPA regulations would expedite NEPA requirements by clarifying, modernizing, and simplifying reviews conducted under NEPA. Specifically, President Trump commented that “the proposed rule would make commonsense changes to establish a presumptive two-year time limit for Environmental Impact Statements; require federal agencies to request information from applicants and the public earlier in the process; increase coordination by agencies to reduce delays; avoid duplication by facilitating the use of documents required by other statutes or prepared by state, tribal, or local agencies; and ensure that the regulations reflect current, modern technologies.”
President Trump estimates that the proposed NEPA regulations would cut down the time it takes to get a major project approved by approximately seventy percent (i.e., permits that currently take seven years to be approved under NEPA would now only take two years). President Trump’s remarks can be found HERE.