A coalition of environmental and environmental justice groups sued the Trump administration on Thursday for its rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). It’s the second suit filed in response to the administration’s July 15 overhaul of the bedrock environmental act. NEPA is a key environmental regulation that requires federal agencies to evaluate environmental impacts and mandates transparency and public input for major infrastructure projects, including pipelines, refineries, and highways. NEPA was signed into law 50 years ago by President Richard Nixon; it was the first significant federal environmental law, and its passage led to the eventual creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It has long functioned as an important environmental justice protection , since it has been an important pathway for low-income communities of color and Indigenous groups to fight back against projects that threaten to pollute or damage community health. In keeping with his barrage of rollbacks on federal environmental regulations ( 100 of them to date ), Trump finalized an overhaul of NEPA in July. The changes to the act gutted NEPA’s regulatory scope , changing the definition of which projects fall under NEPA’s purview and which kinds of environmental effects need to be considered […]

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