NEPA Update Pt 3

NEPA Update Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Less time for environmental reviews should be welcome news for many rural projects related to agriculture.

Tom Davis, Government Affairs Director at the Washington Policy Center, says the update to the National Environmental Policy Acts should speed up reviews to a maximum of three years …

DAVIS … “Yeah, which is a huge improvement. You know, 25% of the Environmental Impact Statements were taking more than 6-years to accomplish. So, if we can get that down to 3, that would be huge.”

And, Davis says time is money …

DAVIS … “The longer it takes, the more money we’re going to pay for consultants and the higher costs for land, for the materials. All these projects get more expensive the longer you wait. So, there’s a benefit, to all of us as taxpayers for these projects, to be reviewed properly, but not in such a long time.”

Davis says legal challenges have also been a huge problem …

DAVIS … “Unfortunately, many environmental groups have found a way to weaponize NEPA over the years to delay these projects, and that’s not right either.”

So, Davis says it’s not going away, but more efficient …

DAVIS … “You know, and many of these are very complicated projects that you want to make sure they’re done properly. And so, I mean, a good, robust review is needed, but not to the point where it’s actually damaging to the communities that are waiting for these projects to take place.”

The changes to NEPA mark the end of a multi-year review, which produced more than 1.1-million public comments involving a broad range of stakeholders.

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