The National Environmental Policy Act is designed to protect Black communities. Naturally, the Trump administration is destroying it.
Reality Check | ecoWURD | radio
Brandi Colander, environmental lawyer, joins ecoWURD radio on WURD’s Reality Check w/ Charles Ellison for a primer on the National Environmental Policy Act. Few people know about the NEPA, but the Trump administration’s recent attempt to destroy it will have massive consequences on Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.
“What the NEPA was really designed to do was to make sure that people had a voice in that building process. This really big document called the environmental impact statement? That allows a lot of people to weigh in. But one of the things that’s really important for Black and Brown communities, quite frankly, is that it also allows you to assess the impacts directly, and the cumulative impact. And in more recent years what we’re starting to notice is that courts are sort of expecting and interpreting cumulative review to also include climate change health implications.
“So if you think about asthma and air quality in the very direct correlation there, and the disproportionate impact for people of color there. When people hear NEPA, what I want them to think about more than anything it’s ‘yeah, it’s the National Environmental Policy Act,’ like technically that is what it is. But what it means is that it’s American, it gives you a process.”