NEPA Updates? TFI Says, “Yes, Please”
WASHINGTON, July 15, 2020 – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today applauded the finalization of updates to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as the revisions will ensure federal regulations continue to protect the environment without causing unnecessary negative impact to the business community.
“NEPA has not been updated in 40 years, and TFI has been supportive of these long overdue changes that improve efficiency of the permitting process and ensure continued environmental protection,” said TFI President & CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “Our industry is focused on providing crop nutrients in a way that ensures farmer profitability and minimizes environmental impact so that we can feed a growing world. To do that we also need to grow, and we need the stability and certainty of a regulatory framework that allows us to do so.”
Phosphorous and potassium, two of the three primary plant nutrients, are natural resources derived from mined minerals. Permits to mine these minerals on both private and public lands can take many years to obtain. One of the primary permitting challenges is the uneven application of the provisions of NEPA by states and the federal government. These NEPA updates will add needed clarity to this process and facilitate a more timely and efficient permitting process.
Over the past 50 years, these regulations have evolved into a legal framework that has unnecessarily stalled or prevented critical phosphate and potash mining projects in the United States. These process-based delay tactics do not reflect environmental impacts and only serve to increase project costs and permitting delays.
“Many of our members have been negatively impacted by outdated NEPA guidelines,” Rosenbusch confirmed. “One producer, whose story is not unique, has spent the last decade and $20 million dollars in pursuit of a permit to grow jobs and instill economic prosperity in a community still reeling from economic stagnation, only to remain unsure of its ultimate fate.
“TFI believes in the original Congressional intent of NEPA, which was to help public officials make decision that are based on the understanding of environmental consequences and to take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the environment,” Rosenbusch concluded. “These revisions will ensure that federal regulations continue to protect the environment without causing unnecessary negative impacts to the business community and allowing what our members to do what they do best: feed the world.”
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation’s fertilizer industry. Tracing its roots back to 1883, TFI’s membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms. TFI’s full-time staff, based in Washington, D.C., serves its members through legislative, educational, technical, economic information and public communication programs. Find more information about TFI online at TFI.org and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at nutrientstewardship.org and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.