Twenty-Three AGs Challenge Unprecedented Weakening of NEPA Implementing Regulations

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson led a coalition of 23 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s sweeping rewrite of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing regulations. The lawsuit challenges a rule finalized by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) that narrows the range of projects, impacts and alternatives that must be considered by federal agencies, establishes arbitrary time constraints and page limits on NEPA reviews and jeopardizes their scientific and analytical integrity, and curtails public participation. The coalition highlighted numerous legal vulnerabilities in the rule, which they emphasized is composed of “provisions that, both individually and collectively, conflict with NEPA’s overriding purposes of environmental protection, public participation, and informed decision making and the statute’s mandate that agencies apply NEPA ‘to the fullest extent possible.’”