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Friday, July 29, 2005

More on Effort to Preserve NEPA: Rio Rancho Hearing 8/1

From Patricia Lee (following up on our original post on preserving NEPA -- the National Environmental Policy Act):

I received a postcard from The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance with further contact information for those wanting to attend the August 1st hearing on NEPA (at 10AM at Rio Rancho High School at 301 Loma Colorado) in Rio Rancho or to submit written comments.  Here it is:

In northern New Mexico contact Bryan (505)988-9126 X 157 or Jim (505) 758-3874 for more information.  In Albuquerque contact Sarah (505) 243-7767.

For written testimony which is due no later than August 10 you can send it via e-mail to:


Be sure to indicate that you want your testimony entered into the record for the hearing on the Role of NEPA in NM, CO, UT, WY.  See information below for suggestions on comments.

For background information go to: www.sierraclub.org/lookbeforeyouleap

P.S.  More important info on the hearing as well as key points from the NMAC posting are listed below.


The following notice is very important. If you cannot attend the hearing, then please send in written comments. Word on the street is that the previous three hearings only had "invited witnesses" from the anti-NEPA contingent -- we can expect the same at this one. Written comments are important, because if they don't receive them, they can say that the public doesn't think NEPA matters. If you are not that concerned about NEPA, then consider the subsequent potential effects to NHPA and ESA. Gutting NEPA would be a precedent-setting action that this administration would love to follow for other environmental laws.


The fourth of six hearings on NEPA will be held in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Time: 10 AM, Monday August 1, 2005
Place: Rio Rancho High School located at 301 Loma Colorado, Rio Rancho, NM

* Only invited witnesses will be allowed to testify and no questions or comments from the public will be taken. Witnesses who will be testifying have not been announced to the public. Community members are allowed to watch and are encouraged to attend to show support for this bedrock environmental law.

Transportation will be available to bring you and your family and friends to the hearing and lunch will be provided! Call Forest Guardians @ (505) 988-9126 for information.

Deadline is Tuesday August 11th.

Make sure your voice is heard by submitting comments into the record for the Southwest NEPA hearing. It is critical that the Taskforce hears from a broad range of local leaders, citizens, and organizations about the importance of NEPA to our health, our communities, and our environment. You are encouraged to submit comments and circulate this alert to other organizations that you are involved with (civic, religious, wildlife, recreation, etc.) and elected officials and urge them to send comments in support of NEPA.

* Key points to include in comments are below.

We have an opportunity to submit written testimony into the Congressional record for the Rio Rancho hearing through Monday, August 10th. Testimony is limited to 12 pages. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to submit written testimony. Be sure to indicate that you want your testimony to be entered into the record for the hearing on the Role of NEPA in the States of NM, CO, UT, WY.

If you want your comments in the official hearing record, you should submit them via email to resources.committee@mail.house.gov (or fax to 202-225-5929). Please also copy Congressman Tom Udall at fax # 505-986-5047

If you can’t submit written comments by August 10th, the NEPA Task Force will accept comments throughout all 6 hearings. Send your comments to nepataskforce@mail.house.gov and send a copy your comments to your Congressional Representative. Go to www.congress.org to look up your Members of Congress.

To find the e-mail address or fax number for your Member of Congress, go to www.house.gov to find Member websites.

Format for official comments:

TITLE (if you have one)
ORGANIZATION (if you have an organization affiliation)

Written Testimony
To the Committee on Resources
United States House of Representatives

The Role of NEPA in the States of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming

NEPA, one of America's bedrock environmental laws signed into law by President Nixon 35 years ago, is considered the Magna Carta of environmental protection. NEPA is the foundation on which all other environmental laws are built. NEPA requires federal agencies to study and disclose the environmental effects of major projects on the surrounding community and include the public in the decision-making process for federally funded projects.

To read about the NEPA Task Force, and to read written testimony from hearing witnesses go to: https://resourcescommittee.house.gov/nepataskforce/schedule.htm Written testimony is currently available from the Northwest hearing held in Spokane on April 23rd. Testimony from the Southwest hearing will be on the website following the hearing on August 1st.

More information on NEPA can be found at: https://www.sierraclub.org/lookbeforeyouleap/

Key Points for Comments

• NEPA is the guarantee that Americans affected by a federal action will get the best information about its impacts, a choice of good alternatives, and the right to have their voice heard before the government makes a final decision.

• NEPA ensures balance, common sense and openness in federal decision-making, it is an effective tool to keep ‘Big Government’ in check.

• At the heart of NEPA is its requirement that alternatives must be considered – including those that will minimize possible damage to our health, environment or quality of life. NEPA also lets Americans have a say before the government makes its final decision about a project.

• By making sure that the public is informed and that alternatives are considered, NEPA has stopped some damaging projects or made them better.

• Cutting corners can have disastrous consequences, especially when it comes to spending taxpayer money on projects that might harm citizens or their environment.

• There is no need to improve NEPA because it works.

Limiting public involvement and weakening environmental review won’t avoid controversy or improve projects.

NEPA saves time and money in the long run by reducing controversy, building consensus, and ensuring that a project is done right the first time.

NEPA’s promise of project review and public involvement must be safeguarded, not sacrificed in the name of speed.

• Explain why NEPA is important to you. You are encouraged to include specific examples of how public participation in the NEPA process provided critical input to protect human health, the quality of life of your community, and the environment, and how the choice of alternatives led to informed decision making and improved projects.

July 29, 2005 at 09:11 AM in Events, Local Politics | Permalink


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