Legislative Threats Public Lands

S.2154 – Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas Water Rights Settlement Agreement Act

Introduced by Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) on November 16, 2017, this bill modifies the Kickapoo Tribe Water Rights Settlement Agreement and confirms a consumptive tribal water right in the Delaware River Basin of up to 4,705 acre-feet of water per year. The bill specifies that the agreement does not constitute a “major federal action,” thereby exempting it from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Posted by
Legislative Threats Public Lands Transportation and Infrastructure

S.1988 – the SPEED Act

Introduced by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MI), exempts certain wireless broadband infrastructure projects actions, from environmental review and public input requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The bill further requires the Government Accountability Office to study and report about challenges to and administrative delays in efficiently siting communications facility installations on federal land, and to provide recommendations for how Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can address such challenges and reduce delays identified in the report.

 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Posted by
Legislative Threats Public Lands Sustainable Forests

S.2068 – Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2017

Introduced by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) on November 2, 2017, this bill would greatly increase logging of national forest lands while reducing environmental safeguards and opportunities for public involvement in national forest management. The legislation limits opportunities for citizen involvement in public land management, and removes essential checks on Forest Service compliance with the law. 

A sweeping combination of S. 1731 (“Forest Management Improvement Act”), S. 879 (“National Forest Ecosystem Improvement Act”), S. 605 (“Litigation Relief for Forest Management Projects”) and S. 1417 (“Sage-Grouse and Mule Deer Habitat Conservation and Restoration Act of 2017”)— S. 2068 would establish new categorical exclusions for prescribed projects for areas as large as 6,000 acres. This “industry knows best” policy of “thinning” (read: logging) could result in the removal of the largest and most fire-resistant trees in forests. The young trees planted to replace cut trees are highly susceptible to fire.

The “Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2017” would also discard the basic principle that the federal government should make informed decisions based on the best available information. This bill blindfolds decision-makers by gutting NEPA review for some projects and eliminates federal agencies’ ability to consider alternative plans of action for all others. As written, this bill only allows for the consideration of two options for forest projects: 1) the agency’s proposed action, or 2) no action at all. Limiting the federal government’s ability to perform due diligence is a blatant attempt to eliminate public accountability from government decision-making in the name of corporate profits.

 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Posted by
Climate Change Environmental Justice Labor Rights and Worker Protections Legislative Threats Oil & Gas Transportation and Infrastructure

S.1756 – Rebuild America Now Act

Introduced by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) on August 3, 2017, this bill would dramatically roll back bedrock protections for the environment and public health, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Specifically, this bill would expand state control of environmental review for prescribed projects, allows federal agencies to use non-related environmental impact statements for the analysis of cumulative impacts, restricts consideration of project alternatives, and requires agencies to submit a Record of Decision no more than 90 days after an Environmental Assessment (EA) or EIS is issued. 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Posted by
Legislative Threats Public Lands Sustainable Forests

S.1752 – Emergency Fuel Reduction Act of 2017

Introduced by Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) on August 3, 2017, this bill amends the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 to categorically exclude an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project from environmental review and public input requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) project:

involves the removal of insect-infested trees, dead or dying trees, trees presenting a threat to public safety or electrical reliability, or the removal of other hazardous fuels threatening certain infrastructure;
is conducted on federal land that is not located in the wildland-urban interface, is located within at least 1.5 miles of non-federal land, and on which conditions are determined to pose a risk to adjacent non-federal land; or
treats 10,000 acres or less of federal land that is at particular risk for wildfire, contains threatened and endangered species habitat, or provides conservation benefits to a species that is not listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, but is under consideration to be listed, or a state-listed or special concern species.

The bill does not apply to federal land that is wilderness, on which the removal of vegetation is specifically prohibited, or that is within a national monument.

 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Posted by
Legislative Threats Oil & Gas Public Lands Transportation and Infrastructure

S. 1460 – Energy and Natural Resources Act

Introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on June 28, 2017, Section 2201 of this bill requires FERC to issue a decision within 45 days of “conclusion of review” under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which is defined as the issuance of a FEIS or FONSI. Section 3101 also requires agencies to give deference to FERC on the scope of environmental review that should be completed.

 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Posted by
Legislative Threats Public Lands Sustainable Forests

S. 1417 – Sage-Grouse and Mule Deer Habitat Conservation and Restoration Act of 2017

Introduced by Senators Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) on June 22, 2017, this bill directs the Department of Interior to categorically exclude vegetative management activities from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for activities ostensibly designed to improve habitat for greater sage-grouse and mule deer.

 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Posted by
Legislative Threats Public Lands Sustainable Forests

S. 879 – National Forest Ecosystem Improvement Act of 2017

Introduced by Senators Barrasso (R-WY), Flake (R-AZ), McCain (R-AZ) and Enzi (R-WY) on June 28, 2017, this bill would critically undermine protections of core environmental laws, including NEPA, as they relate to timber management on public lands. The bill would significantly increase logging on national forest lands while simultaneously reducing environmental review and public input under NEPA. Specifically, this bill would limit consideration of alternatives to action/no action and would create three new, broad categorical exclusions which would eliminate environmental review and public input on certain logging projects covering up to 15,000 acres of public land.

 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Posted by
Climate Change Legislative Threats Oil & Gas Public Lands

S. 665 – Unleashing American Energy Act of 2017

Introduced by Senator Cassidy (R-LA) on March 15, 2017 and co-sponsored by Senators Tillis (R-NC), Kennedy (R-LA), and Cochran (R-MS), this bill amends Section 18(d) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act by allowing for the inclusion of additional oil and gas lease sales. For individual lease sales added to an approved leasing program covering the Gulf of Mexico Region, such actions will not be considered to be a major federal action, thus entirely waiving public input and environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Posted by
Legislative Threats Public Lands Transportation and Infrastructure

S. 604 – Highway Rights-of-Way Permitting Efficiency Act of 2017

Senators Hatch (R-UT), Daines (R-MT), and Fischer (R-NE) introduced this bill on March 9, 2017 would establish a legislative categorical exclusion for broadband projects within existing operational rights-of-way, thereby circumventing environmental review and public input under NEPA.

 

For additional legislative information and to track the bill’s progress, please click HERE.

 

 

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