According to the article, the council's proposed rule would significantly narrow the definition of what "effects" must be considered in conjunction with a project application by excluding the terms "direct," "indirect," and "cumulative," which the agency said have been confusing and formed the basis for litigation.
Environmental groups said that would let federal agencies sign off on infrastructure projects like oil and gas pipelines without considering their broader impacts on climate change. Other changes would place greater burdens on the public during public comment periods, reversing the current method in which agencies must show a comment is unsubstantiated.
Welti said the impacts of the changes will play out as they're implemented. "What they mean in practice is to be determined, but it could mean that agencies are no longer required to evaluate the effects of a proposed major federal action in the context of the impacts of other ongoing and future actions," he said.
Click here to access the article.