The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking to halt the Trump administration from moving forward with major changes to the National Environmental Policy Act that would limit the scope of environmental impact assessments federal agencies must undertake before building highways, pipelines, bridges, telecommunications networks, and other public infrastructure projects, reports The Hill.
The SELC filed a preliminary injunction Thursday morning in the U.S. District Court in Charlottesville, Virginia, citing "stonewalled requests" for documents from the Council on Environmental Quality, stating it has tried for more than 17 months to gain access to records explaining the reasons and rationale for "gutting the NEPA, the nation's bedrock environmental law."
"The irony of all this is that the comment process puts a high value on informed input from the public, but at the same time, the Trump administration is keeping information away from the public," said Kym Hunter, a senior SELC attorney who filed the request for the preliminary injunction.
"The rules call for openness and transparency, but instead the administration has shut the door and boarded the windows," she added.
NEPA became a point of heated debate Wednesday during a public hearing in Denver, where the Trump administration held the first of two hearings on proposed changes.
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