February 03, 2021

U.S. Forest Service Finalizes Procedures: Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act

Susan Jane M. Brown

Four days after taking office, President Trump issued Executive Order 13,766, Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects, followed in August 2017 by Executive Order 13,807, Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects. Taken together, these two executive orders directed all federal agencies to develop new and utilize existing authorities to expedite the implementation of infrastructure and other federal projects, which the administration believed were delayed due to regulatory and environmental review processes, specifically those required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Targeting NEPA as a scapegoat for all government “inefficiency” would become a frequent refrain during the Trump administration. 

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