Comments on the Council on Environmental Quality’s Proposed Rule “National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Regulations Revisions”
Our organizations represent a diverse set of economic sectors that form the backbone of the American economy—agriculture, energy, construction, forestry, manufacturing, transportation, and other sectors. Through the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the United States has made the most significant investment in infrastructure since the New Deal. The Act will promote projects that will enable the movement of people, goods, information, and energy to support the American economy. To ensure that the Act succeeds, further efforts are needed. In order to realize this investment, the Administration should ensure an efficient and transparent NEPA review process. We fully support the fundamental goals of NEPA to better inform agency decisions and the public’s understanding of the potential environmental impacts of federal actions. A federal permitting system that is focused and aligned with these goals is needed for timely investment to address the digital divide in rural and large urban areas, to facilitate construction of public transit to connect communities to job centers, and to build out the energy infrastructure that is essential to our economic recovery and to progress on the climate challenge, to name a few key priorities. Recognizing the importance of an effective and efficient federal permitting system—and with a show of broad bipartisan support—Congress codified the One Federal Decision policy in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, providing clarity to the regulated community concerning agency coordination of environmental reviews. CEQ now has a similar opportunity with this rulemaking.