top of page

EPIC Intervenes in Lawsuit Attacking Indigenous Knowledge and Environmental Justice

The NEPA process. Image from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The NEPA process. Image from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

On June 27, EPIC joined a coalition of 22 environmental justice, labor, and conservation groups to intervene in a lawsuit focused on the latest round of updates to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA is a federal law that functions as an informational tool, and requires federal agencies to thoroughly review federally funded projects and decisions for environmental impacts. 

The lawsuit was filed by 21 Republican state Attorneys General and seeks to undo progressive updates by the Biden administration to NEPA that would, among other things, reverse the Trump era-rollbacks and allow agencies to specifically consider Indigenous knowledge as a form of expertise and to engage groups with environmental justice concerns. EPIC is honored to be represented by Earthjustice and stand with this coalition to defend NEPA regulations that aim to protect our precious plant, animal, and human communities.

Despite this partisan lawsuit’s claims, recognizing and integrating tribal management practices and knowledge can lead to mutual benefits for both federal and tribal governments. Tribal governments and communities possess unique perspectives and knowledge that are crucial to integrate into the NEPA process. As a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, I know that if federal agencies do not consider Indigenous knowledge, they miss out on opportunities to manage resources more sustainably. Indigenous knowledge and environmental justice are legitimate concerns that must be addressed when making important decisions on consequential projects.

For more information, you can read the official Earthjustice press release here. Our coalition’s motion to intervene can be read here and the States’ lawsuit can be read here.


bottom of page