Rolling Back Environmental Review Could Hurt ND Tribes
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
BISMARCK, S.D. -- A Trump administration proposal to roll back an environmental-review law for large projects could harm North Dakota tribal communities, according to one Native American activist.
The change to the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act would reduce the scope of environmental reviews for projects such as highways, pipelines and oil and gas development.
Lisa DeVille, president of the group Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights, said the law has been key in protecting tribal communities in the path of North Dakota's booming oil industry.
"Any law that provides opportunities for public participation in government decisions that affect the environment shouldn't be rolled back. It should be embraced and strengthened," she said. "So, NEPA is one of Fort Berthold's only protections from projects that may impact our health."
The administration has said critical infrastructure projects have been bogged down under what it sees as the "burdensome federal approval process" of NEPA. The shift would eliminate the need to consider a project's climate-change impact and allow more industry input in reviews. It also completely exempts some projects with limited federal funding from review.
DeVille said NEPA also has been important for protecting Native American cultural and historic sites.
"All we want are laws to protect our land," she said. "We're not saying, 'Do away with the oil.' Just make sure that you abide by the law and not come in and destroy our burial sites."
The public comment period for the proposal closes on March 10. Comments are being accepted at federalregister.gov.
get more stories like this via email
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansans ages 16 to 26 who are or have been in the foster-care system now are eligible for one-time payments of at least $750…
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Molina of Perrysburg says she was inspired as a child by the spirit of activism, as she watched her parents participate in …
HARRISBURG, Pa. - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants to bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public-works program from the 1930s that created …
Health and Wellness
CHICAGO - Overdose deaths in Illinois rose by more than a quarter from 2019 to 2020, and medical experts are warning that pills not prescribed by a …
Health and Wellness
MINNEAPOLIS - As COVID cases trend upward again, public-health experts are setting the record straight on certain storylines about new infections…
APPLETON, Wis. - The pandemic paused many facets of life, and a new report says wellness checkups for children were among them. With school resuming …
ALBANY, N.Y. - A ballot measure could give New York residents the constitutional right to a healthy environment, and on Tuesday a group of state …
SALEM, Ore. - Young people of color are locked up at disproportionately high rates compared with their white peers, despite recent signs the gap is …