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New Rule Allows States to Bypass NEPA in Favor of State Regulations
A pilot program suggested in the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act was approved by the Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Transit Administration, and Federal Highway Administration, establishing rules for allowing states to forgo the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in environmental reviews in favor of using state regulations.
Effective January 27, the new rule permits environmental review and approval under state laws "under certain circumstances" in an effort to streamline transportation projects and reduce red tape.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), passed in 1970, requires federal agencies to assess the "environmental and related social and economic effects of their proposed actions" and provide opportunities for public comment before approving permits.