Evergreen Statement on Final Phase 2 NEPA Regulations

In response to the Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) releasing its final “Phase 2” regulations for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Evergreen Action’s Senior Policy Lead for Energy Transition Mattea Mrkusic released the following statement: 

“As we hurtle toward climate tipping points, we need to build clean energy infrastructure quickly and responsibly—while ending the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. It’s a no-brainer to make sure federal agencies have a firm understanding of a project’s potential climate pollution and environmental justice impacts before approving new development. 

“This final rule restores NEPA to its original intent, rolling back Trump-era changes while modernizing environmental reviews. CEQ is explicitly requiring federal agencies to consider the effects of climate and environmental justice in environmental reviews.This is big, and we commend the Biden administration for taking this vital step. By requiring agencies to quantify ‘reasonably foreseeable’ greenhouse gas pollution to better understand climate impacts, this updated rule will ensure agencies are armed with information on the full range of a project’s potential impacts. 

“We also applaud the steps the administration has taken to direct agencies to encourage measures to avoid or reduce disproportionate effects on communities, including cumulative impacts of pollution. And we welcome the steps taken to improve meaningful public engagement. NEPA is our nation’s bedrock environmental law, and today’s updates will help ensure it continues to protect our communities and our environment from the most important environmental threats of our era.”