On June 7, the House Judiciary Committee backed (14–8) a measure (HR 4377) that would create deadlines for federal agencies to review the environmental impacts of proposed development projects. NEMA supports HR 4377 as a common sense approach to streamline and consolidate environmental reviews.
Under the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act, agencies must submit environmental reports to the Council on Environmental Quality before a project may break ground. While there are currently no mandatory submission deadlines, the measure would give agencies one year to publish an environmental assessment and two years to submit an environmental impact statement.
The bill would:
- allow the agency to consider an environmental impact statement produced under state regulations in lieu of an additional federal review
- allow agencies to consider environmental impact statements prepared for similar projects reviewed within the previous five years by state or federal authorities
- reduce the time frame for individuals or organizations to challenge a permit to 180 days.
Kyle Pitsor, Vice President of Government Relations