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Trump to Roll Back NEPA in Latest Attack on Environmental Justice

by Ryan Schleeter

July 15, 2020

In many cases, NEPA is the only law that gives frontline communities a chance to weigh in on federal projects that could impact their health and safety.

Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr.

Atlanta, Georgia — At a campaign stop in Georgia today, Donald Trump is expected to announce his intention to dismantle the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a bedrock environmental law requiring federal agencies to review and identify the environmental, economic, social, and health impacts of new infrastructure projects before construction. The Trump administration announced its intent to weaken NEPA in January, which was met with swift opposition from frontline environmental justice groups around the country [1].

In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Lisa Ramsden said:

“The Trump administration’s anti-environment agenda is a racist agenda. Dismantling NEPA is a blatant attempt to silence the working class communities of color who are resisting the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure into their communities. It’s no surprise that shortly after Indigenous-led movements to stop oil and gas pipelines won three major victories in 24 hours, Trump and the oil industry would double down on a devious plan to silence their opponents.

“In the middle of a pandemic that has disproportionately killed Black, Brown, and Indigenous people in this country, our government should be doing everything it can to protect public health. Communities of color are already over-exposed to toxic pollution on the job, in their homes, and at school, putting them at greater risk of dying from COVID-19. But the Trump administration has been more than willing to let Black and Brown people die while they put their pro-polluter agenda into overdrive. It’s time for Congress to stand up to Trump and his oil executive buddies and fight to protect our communities.”

ENDS

Notes:

[1] Since 1970, NEPA has required federal agencies to go through a review process and identify the environmental, economic, social, and health impacts of new infrastructure projects before construction. In many cases, it’s the only law that gives frontline communities a chance to weigh in on federal projects that could impact their health and safety. https://protectnepa.org/what-is-nepa/

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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