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Re: E-M:/ Key Envirnonmental Law Under Threat



Melissa,

NEPA functions primarily to give the public and the government a systematic look at the environmental impacts of a project.
I believe it should be changed to require a project's developer to list the steps he/she will take to achieve a "sustainable" project --- an "environmentally good" project rather than just a "less bad project".

"Sustainable" means a number of different things to people.
I subscribe to the ideas put forth by Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart that define a project's sustainability through its adherence to Nature's three laws of operation.

Live on current solar income.
Encourage diversity.
Waste equals food.

This last law means that a project produces "zero" waste -- all processes are designed to be closed loop with the material either returning safely to the soil as basic elements OR are totally recaptured and recycled. A project that was built around adherence to these three laws would require NO permits and NO regulation because it's impact on the environment would be next to zero. NEPA should encourage this kind of development.

Bill McDonough says, "When you are going 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction, it doesn't really help to slow down to 30. You are still going in the wrong direction. We have to turn around and go in the right direction."

Chris Bedford

On Feb 2, 2006, at 4:27 PM, Melissa Fava wrote:

I am not in disagreement about the need for NEPA.  However, after reading the official draft recommendations, there are only two actual propsals affecting public involvement, one which limits the length of EIS reports to under 300 pages and the other mandates that local interests will be given more weight than outside groups.  The 20 other recommendations include timelines for action, further coordination with the CEQ, and citizen suit provisions.
 
The proposal is not perfect (NEPA, as it stands now, isn't either), but it does not "drastically limit the public’s ability to comment on proposed projects" as the Wilderness Society states.  I wonder if people see "Republican" and "environment" in the same sentence and assume the worst without checking out all the facts for themselves. Often proposals are written, rejected, and rewritten even worse than the first time and I fear a political backlash (one that is probably already ha ppening) that would further weaken the law. 
 
You can read the "Initial Findings and Draft Recommendations" at:
 
http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/nepataskforce/report/nepareport_finaldraft.pdf
 
-Melissa Fava
 

Roger Kuhlman <rokuhlman@yahoo.com> wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enviro-Mich message from Roger Kuhlman
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEPA the National Environmental Policy Act is a key
environmental law that requires the federal government
to review the public health and environmental impacts
of all federal projects. It is the foundation upon
which all other federal environmental laws are based.
A serious effort is being led by Rep Richard Pombo of
California to weaken the act.

You can read about this effort and take action to help
prevent it by going to:

http://action.wilderness.org/campaign/nepacomment

Roger Kuhlman
Ann Arbor, Michigan


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Christopher B. Bedford
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