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NEPA Permitting Process Crucial to Renewable Infrastructure Project Success

The Center for American Progress lists keys takeaways as,

  • Early and effective engagement with all stakeholders—local, state, Tribal, and federal—can help avoid delays in the project life cycle. Although some highlighted projects suffered from a lengthy permitting timeline, the NEPA process ultimately supported better project decisions and successful outcomes.
  • Methods of engagement are not one-size-fits-all, and solutions cannot be copied and pasted from one project to another, although they can serve as helpful precedents. Every project involves a unique collection of stakeholders and issues to be navigated.
  • Trade-offs must be examined, and conflicts must be expected and managed.
  • Engagement should focus on real issues and stakeholder concerns to efficiently use time and resources.
  • Community benefits agreements and other forms of compensatory mitigation can help manage trade-offs and work to benefit affected communities and project developers.
  • The NEPA process can draw out traditional ecological knowledge and the special expertise of Tribes, benefiting the Tribe, the developer, and other stakeholders.

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