The Role of NEPA: Does It Protect the Environment or Obstruct Progress?

8TH Annual Carver Colloquium



Monday, November 19
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sturm College of Law
Room 165
Or join us online through a live web feed.

The Role of NEPA

The National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) was passed almost fifty years ago and was the first piece of national environmental legislation in the United States. Its purpose is “to foster action that protects, restores, and enhances our environment.”

NEPA requires that environmental issues are considered as part of the decision-making process for all major federal actions, by ensuring that the environmental impacts of these actions are identified and discussed before the action takes place.

Critics of NEPA say that NEPA’s requirements are no longer needed in light of the numerous other federal, state, and local environmental regulations now in place. Further, the cost of performing an environmental assessment, the lengthy approval process, and litigation of disputes create significant barriers to needed development projects.

President Trump is proposing that NEPA be significantly streamlined and modified in order to speed up infrastructure improvements, energy projects, timber harvesting, and public rangeland use.

This year’s Carver Colloquium features a debate over whether or not NEPA should be repealed or significantly limited, and features Justin Pidot, Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of law and Sandi Zellmer, Professor of Law at the University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett School of Law.



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