Editor's Note: I have reviewed the below Presidential Memorandum and left scratching my head. On one level it appears worthless; but, left to a bureaucract with idle time, I believe will create opportunities for obstructionists inside the agencies to further stall projects. Structurally, this seems to create another level of review within, or independent of, NEPA, that requires screening AND substantive direction to "avoid and then minimize harmful effects…and to ensure that any remaining harmful effects are effectively addressed…."
Derivations of the word “minimize” are littered throughout, starting with the second paragraph. Minimize is a very subjective term....
Presidential Memorandum of November 3, 2015
Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment
Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense[,] the Secretary of the Interior[,] the Secretary of Agriculture[,] the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency[, and] the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
We all have a moral obligation to the next generation to leave America's natural resources in better condition than when we inherited them. It is this same obligation that contributes to the strength of our economy and quality of life today. American ingenuity has provided the tools that we need to avoid damage to the most special places in our Nation and to find new ways to restore areas that have been degraded.