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Md AG Joins Lawsuit Challenging Rule Curtailing Environmental Review of Federal Actions

August 28th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a multistate lawsuit of 27 state and municipal plaintiffs challenging the Trump administration’s unlawful final rule curtailing requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that federal agencies review and assess the impact of their actions on the environment.  The final rule also limits public participation in the review process, robbing vulnerable communities of the opportunity to make their voices heard on actions that are likely to have adverse environmental and health impacts.  In the lawsuit, the coalition argues that the final rule abandons informed decision making, public participation, and environmental and public health protections in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and NEPA.

 

“The Trump administration wants to shut out and shut up the public while it continues its environmental destruction,” said Attorney General Frosh.  “The changes to NEPA would allow dangerous projects to proceed without proper consideration of environmental impacts.  It would also place needless burdens on people who are entitled to have their voices heard before a decision is made that will expose their neighborhoods to pollution.”

 

Enacted in 1969, NEPA is one of the nation’s foremost environmental statutes.  NEPA requires that before any federal agency undertakes “major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” it must consider the environmental impacts of the proposed actions, alternatives to the actions, and any available mitigation measures.  Numerous federal actions, from the approval of significant energy and infrastructure projects to key decisions concerning the management of federal public lands, require compliance with NEPA.

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