THANK YOU! to all of our readers that have taken action against the Dept of Interior ramming through vast policy changes, amping up EIS/EAs and continuing “business as usual” as the country faces a national health crisis. Nothing in the US is operating “as usual” and at Interior is busy ramming through one outrageous change after another while the public is rightfully occupied with personal healthy, safety and economic impacts.
This week 70 member of Congress sent a letter to Interior Secretary Bernhardt, in part:
Due to the national emergency and to ensure the public’s legal right to a meaningful and robust participation process, we urge the Department to either: 1. Pause all open public comment periods on rulemaking and non-rulemaking, unrelated to the COVID-19 emergency response, and only reopen them once the Declared nation emergency has ended. Once reopened, extend the comment periods by at least 45 days. Comment periods from March 13, 2020 to the present should also resume at that time; or 2. Keep open and extend all open public comment periods on rulemaking and nonrulemaking, unrelated to the COVID-19 emergency response, by at least 45 days beyond the end of the declared national emergency, including immediately reopening comment periods which closed from March 13, 2020 to the present.
On March 18 WHE began this action item and your response was impressive!
On March 24 the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) extended all deadlines by 60 days. This has turned out to be a very “grey area” where IBLA appears to be allowing this deadline to apply to select cases, not across the board. (IBLA is a “first line” court that judges legal protests to BLM decisions.)
On April 3rd Senators began to send their letters to Interior demanding this outrage end during a national health emergency.
On April 12, 70 Congressmen united and sent a demand letter.
Please continue to take this important action. Even if your rep has already sent a letter to Interior, do not let them forget this dire situation. CLICK HERE.
Help us stay in the fight.