Biden Administration Restores Bedrock Environmental Protection

New NEPA regulations begin to undo shameless Trump-era handout to corporate polluters

Washington, DC -- Today, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released Phase 1 of new regulations that restore the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and undo a Trump administration attack on this key environmental protection. 

Signed into law in 1970, NEPA requires the government to give an opportunity for public input and take environmental, economic, and health impacts into consideration before approving any major project. The Trump administration attempted to gut requirements for environmental reviews of fossil fuel projects under NEPA and allow agencies to limit opportunity for public participation and ignore the impacts of the climate crisis on proposed infrastructure. Today’s actions by the Biden administration begins to undo these dangerous changes and require agencies to consider the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of a project before approving it, as well as considering all reasonable alternatives. Phase 2 of the rulemaking is expected to completely undo the Trump rollbacks to NEPA and restore the principles of informed and science-based decision making, transparency, and public engagement. 

In response, Leslie Fields, Sierra Club National Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Legal, released the following statement:

“We are encouraged to see the Biden administration take action to restore this bedrock environmental protection. NEPA plays a critical role in keeping our communities and our environment healthy and safe, and Donald Trump’s attempts to weaken NEPA were clearly nothing more than a handout to corporate polluters. We look forward to the coming Phase 2 rulemaking, and encourage CEQ to finalize the strongest NEPA regulations possible, as soon as possible.”  


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit