Portion of a Greenwire article posted today…. Anyone want to bet that the USFS will issue a similar order?
Citing a need to reduce “paperwork,” the Interior Department has imposed controversial new restrictions on the length of crucial environmental studies.
In a newly revealed Aug. 31 memo, Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt directed that the department’s environmental impact statements “shall not be more than 150 pages or 300 pages for unusually complex projects.”
The memo states it “dovetails” with a presidential executive order focused on infrastructure projects, while adding that it is being issued in the “context of the department’s overall effort to streamline the NEPA process.”
Officials will need high-level approval to exceed the new page limit. The memo also imposes a “target” of completing the studies required under the National Environmental Protection Act within one year.
“The purpose of NEPA’s requirement is not the generation of paperwork, but the adoption of sound decisions based on an informed understanding of environmental consequences,” Bernhardt wrote, adding that studies “should focus on issues that truly matter rather than amassing unnecessary detail.”