Take Action: Power to NEPA! September 21, 2023
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was passed over 50 years ago and remains relevant for communities across the country today. This policy has long ensured that environmental impact is a consideration for actions taken by the government. Not only this, but because of NEPA we all get a voice in the process, deciding what is best for our health, the local environment, and our communities.
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is seeking comments on proposed revisions to NEPA after it was stripped of many of its best attributes by the previous administration. The proposal rights the wrongs of those changes while acknowledging the climate crisis we face and the need for environmental justice for all.
There isn’t a moment to waste as climate change continues to threaten us all through hurricanes, heat waves, and wildfires. The last administration’s revisions to NEPA have furthered injustice. They took away the voices of communities at the behest of the fossil fuel industry, making it easier to pollute our most vulnerable neighborhoods.
We can stop this from happening. CEQ has given us an incredible opportunity to voice our support of strengthening NEPA. We hope you’ll join PSR in submitting a comment yourself.
Submit your comment!
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) protects our environment and gives communities a say in projects that may impact their health and local environment. Submit a comment today so NEPA can continue fulfilling this mission while addressing environmental justice and the climate crisis.
Please personalize your comments while following the format below, utilizing the talking points as you see fit. Ideally, you would share a personal anecdote or reasoning for why this proposal is important to you.
Your name will only be visible on the docket if you opt for it to be. Anonymous submissions are acceptable.
- Introduce yourself along with your interest in this rulemaking. Why does it matter to you?
- Speak on what feels most important to you, based on the talking points provided below.
- Thank the agencies for their work and make your support for the proposed rule explicit.
- All submissions received must include the agency name, Council on Environmental Quality, and docket number, CEQ–2023–0003, for this rulemaking.
Comments must be submitted by September 29, 2023.
You may draw on the following text. You don’t need to raise all these points; select those that matter most to you. You must put your comment in your own words.
Dear Sir or Madame,
My name is _____, (you may add health credentials) and I would like to express my support for Docket No. CEQ–2023–0003 as presented by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in order to strengthen the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
- Environmental justice and community input
- Environmental justice must be considered as projects are proposed. We are well aware of the disproportionate environmental impacts on people of color and low-income communities that lead to worsening health for these already-burdened people.
- Communities deserve a say when a project is proposed in their area, especially if it can cause poor health outcomes, increasing pollution, or environmental degradation.
- Allow adequate time for community review of proposed projects. 30-day comment periods should be the minimum, with 60- and 90-day comment periods recommended for more significant engagement.
- Pollution must be accounted for cumulatively, not solely based on one project or one pollutant.
- Climate change
- NEPA was originally passed in 1970, when climate change was largely unrecognized. We must consider climate impacts in project proposals to get the full scope of potential environmental impacts.
- Public health and safety must be included in environmental and climate assessments. They are intrinsically connected.
- Just transition
- The United States needs a rapid buildout of clean energy, but this cannot become a burden to our most vulnerable communities, as fossil fuels and their deadly pollution have.
- We must account for people that have been most affected and involved with fossil fuel buildout, leaving no person behind in a just transition.
- As renewable energy projects are proposed, NEPA must work with communities to receive critical buy-in.
Thank you for proposing these revisions to strengthen NEPA. This policy should be finalized and enacted as soon as possible in order to protect our communities from pollution and natural disasters as a result of climate change.