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Anticipating Significant Slowdowns in Public Projects, Twenty States Sue to Block Regulatory Changes to National Environmental Policy Act

As part of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (the latest debt ceiling bill), Congress made the most significant revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) since its enactment in 1970. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has since made further changes to NEPA regulations, and those latest changes have been met with a legal challenge from 20 States’ Attorneys General.

The principal argument of the states is that since its enactment, courts have uniformly held that NEPA is a purely procedural statute, requiring agencies “to …

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The Environmental Impacts of the Debt Deal

On June 3, 2023, President Biden signed into law the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (FRA). The FRA was the result of an agreement between White House and congressional GOP negotiators. While the centerpiece of the agreement is the two-year suspension of the debt ceiling, the FRA surprisingly includes significant environmental provisions. Specifically, the FRA amends the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and expedites completion of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline.  

The most significant NEPA amendments relate to Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Environmental Assessments (EA), …

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