Carper, DeFazio, and Grijalva File Amicus Brief over NEPA Rule Changes by the Trump Administration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, joined Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, in submitting an amicus brief to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, in the case of Wild Virginia v. Council on Environmental Quality.


The three lawmakers filed the amicus brief on behalf of Members of Congress regarding the Trump administration’s revisions to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. The amicus brief states Member of Congress have on multiple occasions communicated to the administration that the legal defects of the Trump NEPA regulations fundamentally undermines NEPA’s protections and should not adversely affect their constituents.


“Congress intended that the NEPA review process would protect the public by requiring agencies to carefully examine the environmental impacts of their actions,” the lawmakers wrote. “The 2020 Rule, however, removes or weakens core elements of the NEPA review process, thereby undermining NEPA’s protections that have made the law so valuable to [our] constituents.”


The brief asserts that four core elements of NEPA review have been undercut by the updated NEPA rule: consideration of cumulative and indirect impacts, analysis of all reasonable alternatives, public participation, and the requirement to consider environmental impacts before project commencement.


Read the lawmakers’ amicus brief here.