Ferguson vows to fight Trump administration’s rollbacks of nation’s environmental protections

‘Rules weaken environmental reviews on countless projects in Washington and across the nation’

Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Wednesday issued the following statement after President Donald Trump announced sweeping revisions to longstanding environmental review processes under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) — a move that Ferguson said undermines public health and the environment and conflicts with federal law.

President Richard Nixon signed NEPA into law in 1970 after it passed Congress with bipartisan support.

Trump announced the rollbacks Wednesday at a UPS facility in Atlanta.

“For more than 50 years, the National Environmental Policy Act has protected the environment and communities around the country,” Ferguson said in a news release. “The law holds the federal government accountable, requiring all federal agencies to thoroughly examine the impact federal actions have on public health and our shared environment. These reviews prevent costly, time-consuming and dangerous environmental problems.

“The Trump administration’s rules restricting these reviews are its most far-reaching, damaging environmental rollbacks yet. The rules weaken environmental reviews on countless projects in Washington and across the nation, leaving our states and communities without vital tools to ensure federal agencies make smart decisions that do not harm our communities and environment. Low-income, Black, Indigenous and minority communities — which already bear disproportionate impacts from climate change and pollution — will be hit the hardest by these irresponsible regulations.

“This is yet another egregious example of the Trump administration’s crusade to put industry interests above public health and the protection of our shared environment, which is particularly irresponsible during a global pandemic. I intend to sue to fight this unlawful, unjust decision.”

In March of this year, Ferguson joined a group of attorneys general in filing a comment letter urging the Trump administration to reconsider the rule. In a separate letter, Gov. Jay Inslee also urged the federal government to reconsider the rule change.

“This is one of the most egregious steps taken by the Trump administration to date in undermining landmark environmental laws,” Inslee said. “It is particularly irresponsible to be rolling back requirements to consider climate change, at a time when we are already experiencing the dire consequences of inaction on climate. Our state stands firmly against this flawed rule that ignores clear science and puts the health and safety of Washington’s families at risk.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in northwest

Screenshot of April 5 Edmonds City Council meeting. Inset (L-R): Mayor Mike Nelson and council members Kristiana Johnson, Will Chen, Neil Tibbott, Diane Buckshnis, Vivian Olson, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson. (City of Edmonds)
After long debate, Edmonds bans homeless people from living outside

The criminal law is unenforceable if no shelter is open within 35 miles. The City Council approved it over public outcry.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Sound Publishing archives
Cannabis DUI challenge rejected by state Supreme Court

Everett man argued the law must be tossed because legal limit for THC is not supported by science.

Tsr
No more stolen sisters: How WA is responding to missing and murdered Indigenous people

Across the state, 126 Indigenous people remain missing, with 31 having gone missing in King County.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 3): Behind the decision to charge a police officer with murder | King County Local Dive

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Washington wolf population continues to rise, report shows

In 2021, four new wolf packs were documented in four different counties.

A man who appears to be President Joe Biden is seen in the back seat of a car in the president’s motorcade, departing the Green River College after the president’s speech. Photo by Alex Bruell/Sound Publishing
Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
Judged by XII (Episode 2): Police officer’s history of violence | King County Local Dive

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

President Joe Biden. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Biden visits Seattle and Green River College during trip to Pacific Northwest

The president will stress infrastructure in Portland and Seattle while raising money for the Democratic Party.

The Sammamish Valley is home to a collection of farms, wineries and tasting rooms. File photo
The Sammamish Valley is home to a collection of farms, wineries and tasting rooms. File photo
King County continues to grapple with alcohol rules in rural areas

Much of the debate surrounds wineries, breweries and distilleries operating as retail businesses.

Teaser
How a Ukrainian and Russian couple escaped a war zone

“We will never forget that sound. Boom. Boom,” said Valeriia Horodnycha, who has been staying in Mercer Island.

Sunset at Mount Rainier. NPS
Mount Rainier park approves nine new lahar monitoring stations

The new monitors can give local communities up to 10 extra minutes to evacuate in case of a disaster.