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US House NEPA hearing in in Nacogdoches - End Endangered Species Act

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BrightKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:53 PM
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US House NEPA hearing in in Nacogdoches - End Endangered Species Act
Dear Lone Star Sierra Club Activists and friends,

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) could soon be significantly weakened by the U.S. House Committee on Resources.

This is the same U.S. Congressional Committee that is recommending the expiration of the Endangered Species Act in 2015. The Congressional National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Task Force, composed of 11 Republicans and 9 Democrats, will hold a series of 6 public meetings across the U.S. on the topic of "improving" the NEPA. The first of the meetings was held on April 23rd in Spokane, WA. The second was on June 18th in Lakeside, AZ.. Rep. Louie Gohmert has announced,

The next hearing will be in Nacogdoches, Texas on this Saturday, July 23 at 10:00 am at Cole Concert Hall at Stephen F. Austin State University. The hearing will be titled, "The Role of NEPA in the Southern States."



Ways You Can Help Protect the National Environmental Policy Act:

Lone Star Sierra Club encourages all supporters of NEPA, including Sierra Club members to attend the July 23 meeting to show support for keeping NEPA intact. The Texas Committee on Natural Resources (TCONR) is mobilizing local supporters to attend.

Also, we want to gather NEPA success stories and submit them for inclusion into the record. Send any success stories to Evelyn Merz (713-644-8228) at elmerz@hal-pc.org . The collected stories will be delivered by the Washington, D.C. office of the Sierra Club. If you do have comments or a success story that you do not submit for inclusion in the package, you can also submit them via the Task Force website shown below. However, be sure to begin with

I request that my comments be put into the written record of the NEPA Task Force.

Larry Shelton of TCONR is the only environmental community witness who has been invited to testify on July 23, although others are requesting to be a witness. Only invited witnesses are allowed to speak at the public meeting.



Historical Background:
NEPA was a landmark piece of federal legislation when it was signed in 1970 by President Nixon. It required federal agencies which are either planning or permitting a proposed project to review the environmental impacts, analyze alternatives, and provide for public review and input. NEPA set up a process of environmental review by the public and coordination between agencies. The Act also established the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). It gives environmental protection a vital place at the table when federally funded or permitted projects are planned.
Now, in 2005, the stated purpose of the NEPA Task Force is to gather input on NEPA's economic impacts and whether the intent of the law is being fulfilled and then to determine whether the law needs to be changed. The Task Force, was formed under the chairmanship of Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) of the House Committee on Resources. See the website for the NEPA Improvement Task Force at - http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/nepataskforce.htm



TO SUMMARIZE, HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO at this point to help protect NEPA:


1. Attend the July 23rd meeting to show support if you can.


2. Send your NEPA success story to Evelyn Merz (713-644-8228, elmerz@hal-pc.org ) for inclusion into the record.


3. Send comments to the Task Force at http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/nepataskforce.htm , but be sure to request that your comments be put into the written record of the NEPA Task Force



Thank you,
Evelyn Merz, Houston Sierra Club

Ken W. Kramer, Lone Star Sierra Club



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