President Donald Trump Thursday announced new proposed regulations to implement the National Environmental Policy Act. Trump says the announcement is part of his effort of “fixing this regulatory nightmare,” in which projects are delayed by “an outrageously slow and burdensome federal approval process.”
Trump says the policy will cut the timeline for obtaining permits and force federal agencies to work more closely together to speed the process. Administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and enacted in 1970, NEPA assures all branches of government properly consider the environment before undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment.
The policy has not undergone substantive regulatory revision since 1986. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association hailed the announcement. NCBA President Jennifer Houston called the action a “commonsense regulatory relief.” Ranchers must undergo NEPA reviews for many reasons, but common examples include renewal of a term grazing permit, construction of range improvements, or to become eligible for participation in USDA programs.