On June 29, Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana (R-La.) along with co-sponsors from Louisiana, South Carolina, and Georgia, introduced H.R. 3133, the Streamlining Environmental Approval Act which would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act. National conservation organizations working on coastal restoration – Environmental Defense Fund, The National Wildlife Federation, and National Audubon Society – issued the following statement in response:
“As organizations working toward the restoration of coastal ecosystems and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico and around the country, we strongly oppose H.R. 3133, the Streamlining Environmental Approval Act. This bill would weaken core provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with potentially wide-reaching consequences for marine mammal populations without advancing coastal restoration priorities. Additionally, by removing important process safeguards – including NOAA’s ability to require mitigation and long-term monitoring of impacts from activities - H.R. 3133 favors exploitation activities at the expense of a more balanced approach to managing our ocean resources. We urge Congress to reject this attempt to modify the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which could needlessly result in increased harm to marine mammal populations, ultimately to the detriment of overall ecosystem health.
We continue to call upon Congress to provide robust funding to natural resources agencies including NOAA, increasing their consultation and permitting capacity and enabling them to more efficiently and thoroughly respond to a growing number of permit requests.”