Empowering Local
Communities and Protecting
Our Environment
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a critical civil
rights tool that protects the our health, clean air and clean water.




P R O J E C T S  E V A L U A T E D


V O I C E S  H E A R D

What is NEPA?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a critical civil rights and conservation law that gives the public an opportunity to comment on major federal projects like roads, bridges, and pipelines. It is a law that protects communities from dangerous, rushed or poorly planned projects and has made informed decision-making about the environment a key component of every major federal action.

Passed into law with an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by President Nixon on January 1, 1970, NEPA was one of the first major federal environmental laws ever enacted and has since served as the foundation of reasonable, balanced and transparent protections for our environment. With the passage of NEPA, Congress recognized that the government’s actions have a profound potential to cause large-scale environmental effects.

At its most basic level, NEPA requires government agencies to engage in a review process intended to discover any significant environmental and public health impacts before a decision is made. It ensures that those who manage federal projects make the best decisions based on the best information while involving and informing the public. For example, if the federal government wanted to build a pipeline or power plant, the NEPA environmental review process would require public comment from the community and disclosure of any long-term health risks.

NEPA is a critical law that empowers local communities to protect themselves and their environment from dangerous, rushed or poorly planned federal projects and often provides the only forum for citizens to engage with major federal actions that affect their health, well-being, and environment. Thanks to NEPA, millions of people have been given a voice in federal government decisions impacting their lives.

How do you benefit from NEPA?

NEPA ensures that the federal government makes the best decision based on the best information while engaging and informing the public it serves. We teach our children to “look before they leap.” NEPA simply and sensibly requires the government to do the same.


Everyone has the right to live, work, learn and play in healthy communities where the air is safe to breathe and the water is safe to drink. NEPA protects the health and safety of every family and community that stands to be threatened by developers and corporate polluters.


Your right to be heard is non-negotiable. By mandating public input on the impacts of major federal projects like power plants, pipelines and infrastructure, NEPA provides a forum for communities to make their voices heard in important decisions that affect their health, homes and environment.


Government works best when decisions are made out in the open. Without NEPA, decisions about major federal projects would once again be made behind closed doors with little or no accountability. Opponents in Congress would resurrect a “those in power know best” culture of complacency and secrecy.


Our country is blessed with a wealth of natural resources as well as diverse wildlife and wildlands spread across our National Parks, National Monuments and National Forests. NEPA helps preserve and protect these public lands for the enjoyment of future generations.

What is the threat to NEPA?

Often overlooked amid the relentless attacks on clean air, clean water, and clean energy by President Trump and Congress was the unprecedented and systematic campaign of administrative and legislative attacks aimed at weakening or waiving the application of NEPA.

Scores of opponents in Congress, often backed by industry donations, also launched assault after assault on NEPA, eager to resurrect a “those in power know best” culture of complacency and secrecy. Using deceptive buzzwords like “streamlining,” members of Congress introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation in in the past two years seeking to make it easier to rubberstamp permits for corporate polluters. If passed, they would exempt large categories of government activity from the NEPA review process, allow federal agencies to ignore project design alternatives better protecting public health, and limit opportunities for the public to comment on and challenge agency decisions.

It is critical that President Biden and leaders in Congress seize on this generational opportunity to restore and strengthen the environmental review process. Averting climate disaster and meaningfully addressing the historical legacy of environmental racism in our country demands it.

Our message is simple: Never Eliminate Public Advice.

Our Issues

The Protect NEPA campaign works with a coalition of over twenty of the country’s largest environmental and civil rights advocacy groups – including Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and League of Conservation Voters – to advance and defend NEPA across a broad range of key issue areas.


Addressing the climate crisis is our generation’s greatest challenge. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a critical tool in this fight to transition our economy away from dirty fossil fuels towards clean, renewable energy sources. The environmental review process is one of the only laws requiring federal agencies analyze and disclose a proposed project’s projected carbon footprint.


Low-income and minority communities are disproportionately exposed to pollution and toxins on the job, at school, and in their homes. Environmental reviews give communities the power to weigh in on federal projects happening in their neighborhoods. They also require disclosure of a project’s environmental and public health impacts before construction begins.


The health and safety of our communities are non-negotiable. Environmental reviews ensure that the air we breathe and the water we drink remain clean and free of harmful pollutants.


Environmental reviews protect workers and ensure that federal projects get done right, from the first brick laid to the last wage paid.


Public lands are our unique inheritance. It’s essential that the federal government listen to the public when managing these public resources.


As sea levels continue to rise and extreme weather events become more frequent, roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects must be engineered to be more resilient to the increasingly severe effects of climate change. Environmental reviews ensure that our infrastructure is built to last with the benefit of local communities in mind.


Smarter planning leads to healthier forests. Environmental reviews ensure that forest management remains the product of a science-based decision-making and better protects local communities from the risk of fire.

Press Releases

The Partnership Project's NEPA campaign is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.