"They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds." Mexican proverb.
It seems 2020 is the year to continue and expand connection to and advocacy for the environment and our governmental systems to protect the environment. Research tells us that connecting to nature leads to empathy and protection for our environment. Go outside! And take a friend!
Today's technology provides us with avenues for reaching the general public, our elected officials, and government agencies. We can speak up and advocate for local, regional, national, and global issues, not only through going to town hall meetings hosted by our political representatives or calling our representatives, but through a click (or a few clicks) of a button. We have the opportunity to have our collective voices heard over a wide range of issues to help protect our region and our world. And of course, nothing beats gathering together to share how we value this majestic region. In the upcoming year, we will be expanding our outreach - personally, collectively and through the use of technology.
Today, exercise your right and comment on the proposal to revise the Council for Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations that seek to eviscerate this bedrock environmental law, severely restricting public input in federal decision-making processes and narrowing the scope of projects that get reviewed.
The 60 day comment period on the draft rule is currently open, closing March 10, 2020.
The proposed rule includes strict page and time limits for Environmental Assessments (EA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS); allows contractors, applicants, and cooperating agencies like local governments to prepare their own EAs and EISs under the supervision of the lead agency; and, no longer requires analysis of cumulative and indirect effects, which would severely limit the effects of an activity that must be looked at by agencies.
Let the CEQ know:
A one size approach does not fit all when it comes to effective and efficient NEPA analysis.
The CEQ NEPA regulations are not broken. NEPA can be implemented in a more effective and efficient way under the existing rule.
Potential comments include:
Time and page limits should not be mandatory.
Lengthy NEPA timelines are driven by a lack of agency resources to implement NEPA, not by the regulations themselves.
To make NEPA more effective and efficient, we need to fully fund government agencies.
"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." Edward Everett Hale