The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) recently published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register, seeking comment on how best to update its implementing regulations for the National Environmental Policy Act.
Noting that it had substantively updated its National Environmental Policy Act regulations only once over the past 40 years, the CEQ requested comment on questions including:
- how the regulations could be revised to ensure that environmental reviews involving multiple agencies are concurrent, synchronised, timely and efficient; and
- whether the definitions of any key National Environmental Policy Act regulatory terms should be revised.
The comment period closed on 20 July 2018. The National Environmental Policy Act governs the process by which federal agencies evaluate the possible environmental impacts of their proposed actions via environmental assessments and environmental impact statements. The Trump administration has identified the National Environmental Policy Act process as a key contributor to slowing down infrastructure projects and has previously floated changes to it in:
- an August 2017 executive order;
- a February 2018 infrastructure plan; and
- an April 2018 memorandum of understanding between multiple federal agencies.
For further information on this topic please contact Samuel B Boxerman or Jim Wedeking at Sidley Austin LLP by telephone (+1 202 736 8000) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Sidley Austin LLP website can be accessed at www.sidley.com.
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