executive vice president
For half a century, the federal government has used NEPA to safeguard Americans from the ill effects of large-scale development. But only when its language is equitably translated into policy designed to help those communities most adversely affected are the law’s guarantees fully realized.
What will be the future for NEPA’s ability to protect low-income populations or communities of color? Will the act’s high purpose be realized for all citizens? Hopefully, at the time of the NEPA centennial we will be able to celebrate the full promise of the foundational statute. Equal protection before the law is a constitutionally guaranteed protection for all, not only for some. A future without a full guarantee of NEPA’s applicability in our most vulnerable communities renders our environmental regulatory framework weak and futile for many citizens.