In January 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued proposed amendments to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This is the first overhaul since the 1970’s. The changes would ultimately narrow the scope of NEPA review, reducing the time and resources involved in completing NEPA documents and streamlining the approval process for critical pipeline projects.
These changes could help grow tremendous opportunities for industry craftsmen across the country. Sign our petition that we will submit to the CEQ before the public comment period ends on March 10!
RE: Docket No. CEQ-2019-0003; Update to Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Dear Associate Director Boling:
I stand with Pipeliners Local 798, a trades union representing the nation’s most skilled and dedicated industry craftsmen, in commending the Council on Environmental Quality on the proposed overhaul to the NEPA review process.
The proposed changes will modernize and streamline the permitting process for critical energy infrastructure projects, while respecting the integrity of the underlying regulations that protect the environment and impacted communities.
Two changes, in particular, would be of tremendous value to the men and women who depend on pipeline industry jobs to provide for their families. These include the establishment of time limits of one year for the completion of EAs and two years for the completion of EISs, in addition to page limits to EAs and EISs. These changes will minimize drawn-out waiting periods that have stalled several critical pipeline projects, allowing construction workers, many of whom are skilled Local 798 members, to get to work in a timely manner.
I support the common-sense proposed revisions for the following key reasons:
- Implementing time limits for completing EAs and EISs, and shortening the page limits for those submissions, will help stakeholders complete reviews more efficiently, ultimately avoiding long delays on project approvals;
- Allowing the private project proponent to conduct the environmental review lifts burdens off licensing agencies and allows for increased collaboration between project leadership teams, environmental experts and community members. This is already the way it is done in many states;
- Under the revisions, groups that fail to weigh in during designated public comment periods would forfeit any right to raise objections later in litigation. This gives more power to members of the public who respectfully and lawfully participate in comment periods and eliminates costly court battles that stall the review process;
- Ultimately, this reform respects the integrity of the underlying regulations that prioritize environmental safety, while streamlining the permitting process for critical infrastructure projects that this country needs to meet rising energy demands.
Hard-working members of Local 798, along with all industry craftsmen who have struggled to make a living while waiting for construction approvals for infrastructure projects, support these proposed amendments and the structured systems of accountability built within them.
American Energy Industry Supporter