AGA Files Comments on Environmental Quality’s Proposed Rule Modernizing the Implementation of NEPA
In comments filed March 10, 2020, AGA supported the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) proposal to update and modernize its regulation implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the first time in nearly four decades. AGA also joined comments filed by the Unlock American Investment Coalition, a group of more than 45 organizations representing diverse sectors of the American economy, including agriculture, manufacturing, energy, and transportation. Links to both the AGA and Coalition comments are provided below. If implemented, AGA believes that the commonsense reforms offered by CEQ would modernize implementation of NEPA, help facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely environmental reviews by Federal agencies, and advance the important statutory objectives of NEPA, most notably to meaningfully inform federal agency decisionmakers and the public of the environmental impacts of major federal actions. If finalized, this comprehensive revision would: (1) modernize, reorganize, and simplify CEQ’s NEPA regulations; (2) Impose timelines and page limits on NEPA documents; (3) Codify certain existing agency practices, case law, and elements of the “One Federal Decision” policy; and (4) modify certain specific regulatory requirements, including how to consider alternatives and environmental effects. AGA member companies rely on timely, transparent federal permits and reviews to meet their construction, maintenance, and pipeline replacement goals. AGA supports CEQ’s efforts to improve and modernize the regulations implementing NEPA and believes that the commonsense reforms in the proposed rule strikes an appropriate balance between efficiency and environmental stewardship.