Ag groups upset that Biden reverses Trump NEPA rules |

Ag groups upset that Biden reverses Trump NEPA rules

The Biden administration last week released a National Environmental Policy Act final rule that restored the requirement that federal agencies evaluate the “direct,” “indirect,” and “cumulative” impacts of a proposed action, including by fully evaluating climate change impacts and assessing the consequences of releasing additional pollution in communities that are already overburdened by polluted air or dirty water.

The Trump administration had eliminated the requirement.

“This has been the practice for decades and it ensures that decisions are not held up in court because of a failure to consider these impacts,” the Council on Environmental Quality said in a news release.

But a range of farm groups were not pleased with the rule change, DTN/The Progressive Farmer reported.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a news release, “AFBF is disappointed that the Biden administration has decided to reverse common sense reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act.”

“Farmers and ranchers share the goal of caring for the natural resources they’ve been entrusted with and were pleased that the updated 2020 regulations allowed them to protect the environment while meeting the demands of a growing nation.

“President Biden has also made improving the nation’s infrastructure a priority, and a modernized NEPA review process would help deliver projects to communities across the country. Safe roads, waterways and railways and expanded rural broadband access are crucial to the success of rural America. Those, too, are now at risk because of outdated regulations.

“We urge the administration to stop moving backward and keep focused on working with farmers and ranchers to advance sound, science-based and practical conservation goals that protect our resources while creating opportunities for agriculture as well as every sector of the economy.,” Duvall said.


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