We Will Not Be Silenced.Stand Up for a Strong NEPA!
We Will Not Be Silenced. Stand Up for a Strong NEPA!
What Is NEPA?
- how the project will be built
- the consequences of the project (good or bad) for local communities
- alternative ways to develop the project that still meet the government’s needs but better protect people and the environment
- measures that can be taken to lessen any harmful impacts of the project
Giving the Public a Voice
How NEPA Works on the Ground
Prime farmland, fisheries, beaches, forests and coral reefs—now at risk in the North Pacific—are also benefiting from the defensive power of NEPA. The U.S. government wants to conduct destructive war games on two islands, Tinian and Pågan, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. There, mostly indigenous and low-income U.S. citizens are using NEPA to compel the U.S. Navy to consider the devastating effects that artillery, rockets and bombardment could have on their tropical homeland and sacred sites. Training could make it impossible for formerly displaced families to return to Pågan and could also disrupt access to vital emergency medical care.
If it weren’t for NEPA, low-income families and community leaders in the Northern Marianas would have little chance to protect their lands and livelihoods.
On the northern coast of Puerto Rico, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, NEPA has for the past six years helped the town of Arecibo breathe a little easier. There, residents have used NEPA’s critical safeguards to halt a waste-to-energy incinerator that would operate in an area already contaminated with heavy metals.
The incinerator, which proponents hope will get federal financing, would reportedly burn more than 2,000 tons of trash a day less than two miles from the largest wetland in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico residents face 2.5 times the death rate from asthma as residents of the mainland United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so the incinerator’s toxic fumes would be dumped into the air in an already at-risk community.
For Arecibo—and many other communities around the country—NEPA offers life-saving protection.
NEPA—the People’s Voice—Is Under Siege
For nearly 50 years, the United States has had an empowering legal tool that allows communities to defend themselves against harmful government and industry actions. But over time, special interests have tried to gut this protection.
Over the past six years, 180 pieces of legislation have been introduced seeking to attack, undermine, weaken or waive NEPA protections. Some leaders in the current 115th Congress have signaled their interest in attacking NEPA, and with President Trump’s appointment of an anti-regulatory cabinet, the attacks could have a devastating impact.
Tell your representatives in Congress that your right to be heard is not negotiable. Urge them to protect NEPA—your voice!