Miss. Senator Joins Effort to Stop Onerous New NEPA Requirements on Public Works Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today voted to overturn the Biden administration’s efforts to greatly expand the scope of federal environmental reviews for public works projects, including pipelines, bridges, roads, and other infrastructure.

Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of S.J.Res.55, a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) final rule, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Regulations Revisions.  

“Taxpayers, cities, and states will pay the price for the environmental zealotry driving White House policies.  What does the Biden NEPA rule mean for Mississippi?  More costs and more delays for projects like highways, infrastructure, or even the proposed Yazoo pumps,” Hyde-Smith said.  “If allowed to stand, the rule will make already costly and time-consuming NEPA reviews even more expensive and time consuming.”

The Senate voted 50-47 to overturn the new NEPA rule, which the CEQ indicated is the first phase of a scheme to repeal a 2020 NEPA rule that streamlined the time and costs associated with environmental reviews for public works projects.  The 2020 rule was the first major modernization of federal environmental reviews since 1978.

The rule promulgated by CEQ, which went into effect on May 20, requires environmental impact statements (EIS) and other environmental reviews to assess the indirect and cumulative impact of a project on climate change.  The rule will drive up costs and time to complete the EIS process, which already takes an average of four to six years to complete and cost millions of dollars.

S.J.Res.55 was introduced by U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), with all Republican Senators cosponsoring the measure.  S.J.Res.55 still requires House approval and the President’s signature to complete the Congressional Review Act process to stop the CEQ rule.