The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)and the Public Lands Council (PLC) say the Biden administration’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rule undermines progress made over the last several years at a time when efficient regulatory processes are critical to environmental and economic sustainability.
According to the Washington Post, the rule will require federal agencies to analyze the environmental consequences of major infrastructure projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which became a federal law in 1970.
“When it comes to federal regulations, ranchers are often caught in the middle of political whiplash, and this CEQ process is no exception,” said NCBA Executive Director of Natural Resources and PLC Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover. “Livestock producers and land managers need regulatory certainty and consistency. By returning to a pre-2020 standard, this rule returns environmental analysis to a failed model that industry and government have long agreed is woefully inadequate and inefficient. This failed model will stall important environmental projects, delay critical infrastructure improvements, and impede progress made as part of ongoing NEPA processes.”
In addition to their role in water, transportation, and conservation projects nationwide, NEPA regulations play a role in all activities on federal lands. NCBA and PLC say that NEPA processes have become inefficient over the past several decades and the source of an immense amount of regulatory red tape and uncertainty as producers renew grazing permits, improve rangeland, and participate in USDA conservation programs.
NCBA and PLC, along with the American Sheep Industry Association, previously advocated for a NEPA process that is targeted, concise, and timely.