The Montana Farm Bureau applauds the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)’s final rule, the “Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act.” This is the first comprehensive update to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 40 years. The regulations are a welcome modernization of the federal environmental review process which will benefit both the environment and the American economy.
“NEPA modernization will promote more efficient, effective, and timely federal environmental reviews,” said MFBF Executive Vice President John Youngberg. “Although the NEPA review doesn’t necessarily impact most of agriculture, the way NEPA is implemented can have secondary effects on farms and ranches, particularly those who work with federal lands. Keeping federal forests and rangelands healthy and productive is critical to farmers and ranchers who rely on the land and share this public trust with their rural communities.”
Youngberg added that the regulations are a welcome modernization of the federal environmental review process, which will protect the environment while benefiting the economy. It is important to note that this update does not change any underlying environmental law.
“This is about smart government and promoting more effective and timely federal environmental reviews,” he said. “Whether they result in approval or denial of a project, the goal is to ensure that the federal government considers both the benefits and consequences of major federal actions before decisions are made and alternatives are considered to major federal actions.”