The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a free webinar for Pacific Islanders on the effective methods for environmental justice considerations in National Environmental Policy Act reviews tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 24, from 8am to 9:30am.
House Committee on Natural Resources chair Rep. Sheila Babauta (D-Saipan), and Coastal Resources Management acting director Richard Salas will be presenting the CNMI’s experiences with the National Environmental Policy Act process on the island.
The webinar, part of USEPA’s Environmental Justice Webinar Series for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples, will provide an overview of the NEPA process, as well as a discussion on methods for taking into account environmental justice in NEPA reviews.
NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of their proposed actions, i.e., making decisions on permit applications; adopting federal land management actions; and constructing highways and other publicly-owned facilities—before making decisions.
Babauta told Saipan Tribune she is grateful to be given an opportunity to share some local experiences with the NEPA process in the CNMI. “What I want to emphasize is that we aren’t all given the same resources and tools to navigate that avenue. Community awareness is key to a successful partnership with federal agencies and building trust between our governments.”
The legislator also added that she believes that community participation and input is crucial to ensure federal proposals are beneficial to the local community, which, according to her, NEPA provides.
Babauta is inviting the community to participate. To register for the free webinar, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nepa-environmental-justice-in-nepa-webinar-for-pacific-islanders-tickets-167512882541.