White House Council on Environmental Quality Releases NEPA Proposed Rule

By Erin Kurilla posted 10-07-2021 11:59 AM

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is responsible for developing procedures for the implementation of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) by federal agencies. In July 2020, CEQ made significant revisions to the NEPA regulations for the first time in 40 years. The purpose of the 2020 rule was to make the federal permitting process more predictable and transparent. It established a timeline for a decision and made the requirements more straightforward.

The October 2021 rule aims to ensure that the 2020 changes are pursuant to President Biden’s Executive Order 13990 Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis. The proposed rule reinstates consideration of the “direct”, “indirect”, and “cumulative” impacts of a proposed decision, including by evaluating climate change impacts on overburdened communities. It will also establish CEQ’s NEPA regulations as the minimum requirement instead of the maximum requirement for environmental review standards that agencies should be meeting.

Comments are due to CEQ on November 22, 2021. APGA will work collaboratively with other interested stakeholders to engage in this rulemaking process.

View the Proposed Rule here.

For questions on this article, please contact Erin Kurilla or Renée Lani of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at ekurilla@apga.org or rlani@apga.org.