BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today applauded a proposal to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to streamline permitting of infrastructure projects.
The proposal by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) follows an executive order issued by President Donald Trump in 2017 establishing a two-year goal for completing environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects and directing the CEQ to consider revisions to modernize the regulations that federal agencies use to implement NEPA.
“No one cares more about North Dakota’s environment than the people who live here, but the 40-year-old NEPA process has become increasingly complex, cumbersome and time-consuming, resulting in unnecessary, multi-year delays and cost increases for key infrastructure projects including highways, pipelines and critical flood protection,” Burgum said. “We thank CEQ and the Trump administration for proposing common-sense reforms to modernize and streamline NEPA.”
Since it was signed into law in 1970, the NEPA has required federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of their proposed actions before making decisions. The broad range of actions covered by NEPA includes permits, land management and construction of highways and other publicly-owned facilities. As part of the NEPA process, agencies provide opportunities for public review and comment on those evaluations.