March 10 Deadline Set to Submit Comments on Updating National Environmental Policy Act Regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), long an advocate for easing government regulatory burdens on farmers, ranchers, and businesses, today encouraged Mississippians to submit public comments on President Trump’s bold effort to modernize an environmental law that now causes long delays and added costs to public works projects.

The Federal Register has published the Trump administration’s plan to modernize National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations.  The public can submit comments on the NEPA reform proposal until March 10, 2020.

“Regulatory and cost burdens have only grown in the decades since the National Environmental Policy Act became law.  President Trump’s plan to update NEPA regulations would cut those unnecessary time delays and added costs to taxpayers for transportation, water, and other infrastructure projects,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Mississippians should review this plan and ask themselves whether, after more than 40 years, NEPA rules need to be updated so that environmental reviews become just reviews and not costly obstructions to many necessary projects,” she said.

According to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, environmental impact statements for federal highway projects average more than seven years to complete, with some reviews taking a decade or more.  

Among other things, the “Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act” would establish presumptive two-year time limits to complete environmental impact statements and a one-year limit for environmental assessments.

Details on the proposed rulemaking, including information on planned public hearings, are available here.

To comment on the rule by March 10, 2020, Mississippians may submit comments, identified by Docket Number CEQ–2019–0003, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal:  https://www.regulations.gov (Follow the instructions for submitting comments.)
  • Fax:  202–456–6546.
  • Mail:  Council on Environmental Quality, 730 Jackson Place NW, Washington, D.C.  20503