President Trump today is expected to announce changes that eviscerate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), according to Oceana. NEPA, which was passed in Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970, provides the foundation for the protection of the environment in the United States and creates a transparent policy in which the public can participate.
Lara Levison, Oceana’s senior federal policy director, released the following statement in response to the expected announcement:
“President Trump is taking a jackhammer to the foundation of environmental protections in our country: the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which gives the people of the United States the right to provide input on government actions that have environmental, social, economic or public health impacts. President Trump is weakening our voices and our right to express concerns. Anyone that values our environment should be outraged by these expected changes.
Whenever the federal government makes a decision that could significantly impact the environment, including the oceans, NEPA requires decisionmakers to take a hard look at the consequences, inform the public of their plans and consult with the public. The NEPA process is used for decisions related to ocean activities such as recreational and commercial fishing, seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling, offshore wind development, the designation of protected areas, and the protection of ocean wildlife, including marine mammals like the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale.
For 50 years, NEPA has provided the public an opportunity to engage in federal actions. President Trump is severely weakening our right to express concerns related to the environment, handing over these important decisions to industries with only profits in mind. Oceana will fight to reverse these reckless rollbacks.”
For more information about NEPA, please click here.