White House Bid to Weaken Environmental Reviews Would Ignore Climate Change, Restrict Citizen’s Input

(WASHINGTON, DC)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) today filed comments opposing the Trump administration’s dangerous proposal to ignore climate change when evaluating the environmental and community impacts of major projects requiring federal approval.

Equally disturbing, this rewrite of the rules for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) would restrict local citizens’ input into decisions about large-scale government approved projects like pipelines and highway construction occurring right in their backyard.

Communities of color, which often lack the resources and political clout to oppose projects that would subject them to unhealthy pollution levels, would be disproportionately affected. NEPA has successfully guided the federal government’s environmental review process since it was signed in 1970. This bedrock law requires the government to weigh the environmental consequences of major federal actions, consider less harmful alternatives, and give citizens a voice in determining whether a project can move forward.

Lisa Feldt, Vice President of Environmental Protection and Restoration, made the following statement about CBF’s comments:

“Ignoring climate change is not only irresponsible, it’s dangerous. The Bay watershed’s 18 million residents already are grappling with the natural and economic damage of its effects: rising, warming, and acidifying waters; eroding shorelines; and more intense and frequent storms and floods.
“The White House should be strengthening the environmental review process to protect the watershed’s farmers, watermen, small businesses, and homeowners from the worst impacts of climate change. Instead, it is pushing another rollback that would only add to the challenge of restoring local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.
“The administration’s attempt to limit input from local communities whose participation is essential to saving national treasures like the Bay, only makes it worse. The watershed’s environmental justice communities will suffer. We urge the White House to reverse course and abandon these harmful revisions.”
Lisa Caruso 90x110

Lisa Caruso

Washington, D.C. Media & Communications Coordinator, CBF

lcaruso@cbf.org
202-793-4485

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