Task Force on Improving
National Environmental Policy Act Created
Pombo taps Rep. Cathy
McMorris to lead
Washington, DC - Today House
Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo
(R-CA) announced the formation of a Task Force
on Improving the National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA). Rep. Cathy McMorris (R-WA) is
leading the Task Force which will travel around
the country to hold meetings on the current
state of the environmental law.
"It is the official responsibility of the
Resources Committee to conduct oversight
operations on the nation's environmental laws,"
said Chairman Pombo. "As Chairwoman of this Task
Force, Cathy McMorris will undertake the first
serious effort to analyze the implementation of
NEPA in 35 years on behalf of the committee."
NEPA was signed into law in 1970 and has never
been thoroughly reviewed by any Congressional
body. The Task Force will travel the country to
hear from the people who deal with NEPA on a
day-to-day basis to determine whether the
original intent of NEPA is being fulfilled.
"It's a real honor to chair this Task Force and
I thank Chairman Pombo for this important
appointment," said Chairwoman Cathy
McMorris. "The NEPA process has a
dramatic impact on our economic growth,
transportation system, and the resource based
economy of the Pacific Northwest. Through this
Task Force we will listen to all input on how
this law is working to ensure the best outcomes
for both the environment and our economy."
"Our ultimate goal is to improve our
environmental laws. We need to ensure we protect
our environment and assure clean water and clean
air in an expeditious manner," said Rep.
Jim Gibbons (R-NV). "Too often NEPA
results in litigation that can last decades.
This Task Force will simply go out to the
communities around the country affected by NEPA
to see how well it is working and what
improvements may be needed to meet our nation's
goals of protecting the environment in the 21st
"Communities, habitats and species throughout
the country are impacted by NEPA and, as
lawmakers, we have a responsibility to ensure
that its purpose and intent are being met," said
Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR).
"Like any major policy put in place decades ago,
it is time to examine this 35-year-old law and
find ways in which we can improve its efficacy
and efficiency. I look forward to working with
colleagues from both sides of the aisle to
accomplish this goal."
"As our technology improves, so does our ability
to interact with the environment in a
responsible and safe way. My goal is to ensure
that NEPA is a participant in that process and
not a hindrance," said Rep. Devin Nunes
(R-CA), Chairman of the Resources
Subcommittee on National Parks.
"No one will dispute that the intent of NEPA is
noble and has successfully protected acre upon
acre of precious land from intrusion and
destruction," said Rep. Thelma Drake
(R-VA). "However, it's important that
we revisit NEPA to ensure that it is still as
effective today as it was 35 years ago when it
first passed. NEPA must be understood in the
context of today's national security realities.
And as a Task Force, we must do what we can to
keep NEPA from tying up our courts and our
economy while still protecting our natural
"I welcome the opportunity to work with the
Congresswoman from Washington and my other
colleagues on this issue," said
Congressman Henry Brown (R-SC).
"Because of South Carolina's unique
transportation needs and the considerable time
spent in addressing environmental concerns
associated with such projects, we definitely
should be considering some reform."