Today’s submission to the EPA focuses on the National Environmental Policy Act. In essence we made the following comment (some quotation marks removed and formatting changed):
Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Reconsideration (“Proposed Emission Regulation”)
We are writing, both as editors of InternationalMosaic.com and individually, to provide comments on and objections to the proposal to allow increased pollution (emissions) in the oil and natural gas sector.
As stated previously, the Proposed Emission Regulation should be rejected as bad for the environment.
Also, even if Proposed Emission Regulation satisfied its underlying statutes, the National Environmental Policy Act requires the preparation of a proper Environmental Impact Statement before the regulation can be adopted. This is true because the regulation constitutes a major federal action that will tragically harm the environment.
We are aware of no EPA categorical exclusion from NEPA that might apply to the proposed regulation.
However, even if such an exclusion could apply, NEPA’s requirements apply if “[t]he proposed action is known or expected to cause significant public controversy about a potential environmental impact of the proposed action.” 40 CFR, part 6(B) section 204(b)(8). In the present case over sixty thousand public comments have already been submitted making the applicability of a hypothetical categorical exclusion a moot question.
Compliance with NEPA through preparation of a proper EIS, will demonstrate how the proposed regulation will accelerate climate change and risk the loss of thousands of American lives and homes. Worldwide, more lives and homes will be endangered. A thorough EIS will refine our understanding of the risks involved and educate both the EPA and the general public.
In the present case, an EIS is required. The Proposed Emission Regulation cannot be adopted before EPA prepares a proper EIS for the regulation.
Andrew J. Yamamoto, Esq, Editor
Scott D. Pinsky, Esq., Environmental Law Editor