NEPA Changes Take Nation in Wrong Direction

Jul 15, 2020 | What's New

The disappointing decision by the Trump Administration today to change the environmental review process for infrastructure projects will make the United States less able to tackle the climate crisis, according to a joint statement from the American Planning Association (APA) and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM).

Kurt Christiansen, FAICP, APA President, and Chad Berginnis, CFM, ASFPM Executive Director, wrote:

“Reform can be achieved while maintaining the ability to make thoughtful, informed decisions that don’t saddle taxpayers with repeated disasters, increased risk, and escalating climate impacts. We can advance projects while also hearing the needs and healing the wounds that afflict vulnerable communities. We can, we must, do better.”


NEPA reviews are an important part of the built environment development process, designed to identify potential environmental impacts the proposed project might create. They also enable the community to have a voice in the development process. This is especially important to ensure environmental impacts do not unevenly harm communities of color, risking their environment and health.

Members of both APA and ASFPM help residents and officials make decisions about the resiliency and long-term prosperity of their communities. This past January, both organizations jointly spoke out against the proposed changes, citing increased costs of development and future disaster recovery shouldered by taxpayers and communities, in addition to making us all more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

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The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating communities of lasting value. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The 45,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people’s lives. Through its philanthropic work, APA’s Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to good planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at

The Association of State Floodplain Managers is the world’s leading voice for sound floodplain management, science, and policy, with 37 U.S. chapters, and more than 19,000 members worldwide. ASFPM is an organization of professionals involved in floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, the National Flood Insurance Program, and flood preparedness, warning and recovery. Learn more at