Protect your right to transparency and involvement!
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The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the United States’ first environmental law. It ensures that the people who live, work and play nearest to the harmful effects of pollution, toxic chemicals, and climate change are able to speak out against efforts harm their health and wellbeing. It’s no surprise, then, that the fossil fuel industry cronies in the Trump administration are seeking to gut NEPA’s protections.
When the government wants to build a toxic waste incinerator in a residential neighborhood, bulldoze homes to build smog-producing highways, or run pipelines through ancestral Native American lands, NEPA gives communities the tools to stop them. It requires the government to engage in a review process and search for any potential public health or environmental impacts before embarking on a project. The law provides communities of color — who historically often lacked connections to decision makers on zoning boards or city councils that could protect their interests — with a meaningful mechanism to fight back.
If we lose NEPA’s core safeguards, we will lose hard-won protections that generations of activists, from the diverse coalitions who fought to protect communities from interstate highway construction in the 1950s and 1960s to local environmental justice leaders across the country today fought to secure. The U.S. will return to a time when marches, petitions, rallies, and other direct actions were some of the only tools available to communities who wished to have a say in crucial decisions.
Tell your legislators — don’t sit quietly as the Trump administration launches its assault on the people’s environmental law. Protect NEPA now.
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