The Trump administration has announced plans to roll back the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), one of America’s very first environmental protection laws, dating back to 1970. Our families rely on NEPA to ensure federal projects do not have significant adverse health, environmental, economic, or social impacts on our communities before decisions are made and construction begins.
Rolling Back NEPA is Trump’s Gift to Polluters
Under the Trump Administration’s proposed rollbacks to NEPA, agencies would no longer be required to account for how pollution from projects like pipelines, power plants, highways, or other development would impact climate change. Furthermore, the communities that would be affected by projects would be more constrained in how they are allowed to participate in the review process.
We see this for what it is — another gift from the Trump administration to polluting industries at the expense of our children’s health and the climate.
Moms Testify to Protect NEPA for Public Health and Environment
On February 11, 2020, the Trump administration held a public hearing in Denver to gather comments on this dangerous proposal. Moms Clean Air Force Colorado was there to raise their voices in opposition to this proposal that would harm vulnerable populations and mute community input.
Shaina Oliver, Denver mother of five, member of the Navajo Nation, and Moms Clean Air Force organizer, highlighted how weakening NEPA would harm indigenous populations who have historically struggled to have a voice.
“As an Indigenous woman of the Navajo Nation, I demand the protections of our air, water, and lands and oppose any rollbacks or weakening of the National Environmental Policy Act. This proposal would have devastating impacts on the well-being of communities regarding the environment, public health, and climate.
“Poorly-planned polluting projects add insult to injury for indigenous families like mine, who have struggled with inequities for generations. NEPA has been a critical tool for public engagement on industrial projects, providing a voice for the community in places where our voices are otherwise ignored.”
Laurie Anderson, mother of five from Broomfield, Colorado, and Moms Clean Air Force organizer, spoke out against a proposal that will harm communities like hers that are already burdened by oil and gas infrastructure.
“Rolling back National Environmental Policy Act rules would make it easier for polluting projects to get the green light, regardless of the impact they may have on the air our children breathe, or the climate impacts our children will inherit. As parents, we deserve to know the impacts of proposed projects to our children’s health, our communities, and the climate. These federal projects should not be rushed through to meet an arbitrary deadline that benefits industry.
“In addition, NEPA is an important tool that provides local communities the ability to weigh in on federal projects impacting their health and safety while giving the affected community the opportunity to offer alternatives. It is crucial that we have a voice in the review process. Communities like mine are already burdened by the proliferation of oil and gas wells and the supporting infrastructure. This has taken a toll on our community with 24/7 large-scale industrial operations that have resulted in increased emissions of toxic chemicals, loud noise that disrupts sleep, and heavy truck traffic on our residential roads. It is crucial that NEPA takes into account the cumulative, direct, and indirect impacts that federal projects could have on communities. After all it is our communities that will pay the price with our health.”