McMorris to Chair Taskforce on National Environmental Policy Act

(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) was appointed by the House Resource Committee Chairman Richard Pombo to lead a taskforce on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The goal is to ensure that after 35 years the original intent of NEPA is being implemented.

“It’s a real honor to chair this Taskforce and I thank Chairman Pombo for this important appointment,” said McMorris. “The NEPA process has a dramatic impact on our economic growth, transportation system, and the resource based economy of the Pacific Northwest. Through this Taskforce we will listen to all input on how this law is working to ensure the best outcomes for both the environment and our economy.”

The aim of the Taskforce is to look at the environmental impact of NEPA and to get public input. The NEPA Taskforce will conduct up to six field hearings across the country to hear testimony on a range of issues from those who are directly affected. The first hearing will be held in Eastern Washington at the end of April.

At the conclusion of the hearings, the NEPA Taskforce will issue a report that will discuss their findings and any other appropriate recommendations.

NEPA was signed into law in1970 by President Richard Nixon to establish a national environmental policy which directs federal agencies to conduct environmental reviews to consider the potential impacts on the environment when planning projects or issuing permits.

No government body has ever thoroughly reviewed NEPA since its inception. For this reason, Chairman Pombo asked the NEPA Taskforce to hold hearings and meetings across the country to hear testimony on a range of issues under NEPA. The field hearings will help taskforce members understand the current impacts of NEPA by hearing directly from the interested and affected parties.

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