On April 19, 2022, the White House Council on Environmental Quality took the first steps to revoke a Trump rule reforming the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the first time and revert it to its original 1978 state. NEPA is the most significant environmental regulation when it comes to approval of infrastructure projects from highways to oil and natural gas, and even solar and wind. The Trump rule sought to reduce the environmental review period down to two years and limit the filing to 150 pages, down from 300 under the original NEPA, which could take five years.
As governments around the country begin to implement the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law signed by President Biden, many communities will use the more comprehensive review of projects. Most climate litigation in the United States involves NEPA, and environmental groups are calling for additional requirements. The environmental requirements may create a bumpy road for the new transportation and infrastructure law as well as projects around the country.