Top Stories January 14, 2020

Governor Gordon Comments On NEPA Review

by Jackson Hole Radio News

Wyoming leaders are commenting on ta federal proposal to update NEPA rules.

Thursday, January 9, President Trump announced a proposed rule to modernize and accelerate environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), so infrastructure can be built in a timely, efficient and more affordable manner.

“The purpose of NEPA is noble; its application, however, has gone off the rails. The action by the Council on Environmental Quality is the first step in bringing common sense to a process that has needlessly paralyzed decision-making. We can ensure that our views are well-informed and that the public is heard without tying ourselves in knots. CEQ is to be commended for seeking public comment on this initiative,” said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt.

 Governor Mark Gordon said, “Uncertainty is never good for proper development and it has been particularly problematic in Wyoming, especially in light of recent court rulings regarding NEPA-related greenhouse gas emission analyses. States like Wyoming need assurance that projects will be properly analyzed the first time around so that decisions on the ground can be made in a timely manner. I support CEQ’s efforts to streamline federal agency guidance under this proposed rule.”

Sublette County Commissioner Joel Bousman, said, “In Wyoming we have had mixed experiences with NEPA analyses. It took the U.S. Forest Service over 14 years to complete the NEPA process to renew grazing on the Upper Green River Grazing Allotment. This process took far too long. On the flipside, last year Sublette County and the Sublette County Conservation District did a NEPA analysis for the Bureau of Land Management to provide our field manager the authority to issue temporary nonrenewable animal unit months. The process took only two weeks, withstood scrutiny and is now authorized.