- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Opposes Trump Administration’s Reckless Plan to Gut the National Environmental Policy Act
BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general in calling on the Trump Administration to abandon its proposed rule gutting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a federal law that requires federal agencies to comprehensively assess the impact of their actions on the environment.
In a comment letter sent to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the attorneys general argue that the Administration’s proposal to weaken NEPA is unlawful and unjustified. A vast array of federal actions require compliance with NEPA, from the approval of significant energy and infrastructure projects to key decisions concerning the management of federal public lands. The attorneys general argue that if the proposal is implemented it will have devastating repercussions for their residents and the environment.
“In blatant disregard for the law, the Trump Administration wants to unravel one of our country’s most important tools to protect our environment and safeguard public health,” AG Healey said. “This law has a 50-year track record of helping states and communities address environmental challenges. We strongly urge the Administration to withdraw this dangerous proposal, which puts our planet at even greater risk.”
The attorneys general contend that the proposed rule, if finalized, would:
- Violate NEPA and the federal Administrative Procedure Act;
- Dramatically limit and constrain the scope of impacts considered in environmental reviews, including the impact of greenhouse gas emissions;
- Diminish the important requirement that an agency evaluate reasonable alternatives;
- Allow projects to move forward before complying with NEPA; and
- Eliminate important opportunities for public participation and judicial review afforded under NEPA.
The attorneys general also highlight that the proposed rule follows a deficient rulemaking process that shut out public participation by providing insufficient notice and limited opportunity for input. Rather than making NEPA review more efficient, the attorneys general contend, the proposed rule will only lead to delays, uncertainty, and litigation.
Joining AG Healey in filing today’s comments are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Turner Smith and Matthew Ireland and Division Chief Christophe Courchesne, all of AG Healey’s Environmental Protection Division.