U.S. federal agencies should disclose whether their actions and decisions will have an impact on climate change, the White House announced on Tuesday.
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) finalized an update after nearly six years of consultations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a Nixon-era statute that called on officials to weigh the environmental effects of projects such as highways, dams or oil drilling.
The update takes NEPA a step further by requiring agencies such as the Interior Department to the Army Corps of Engineers to quantify greenhouse gas emissions in NEPA project reviews and to describe the potential climate change impacts.
“This increased predictability and certainty will allow decision makers and the public to more fully understand the potential climate impacts of all proposed federal actions,” the CEQ said in a statement.
This would prompt agencies to consider alternatives or propose measures to mitigate the climate impacts of a project, it said.