Secretary Bernhardt Touts Streamlined NEPA Processes and Spotlights Nevada Gold Mines’ Pledge to America’s Worker

Last edited 02/15/2023

Date: July 23, 2019

Elko, NV - Today at the Cortez Mine, Nevada Gold Mines LLC signed the Trump Administration's Pledge to America’s Workers alongside U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, who touted the Department of the Interior’s streamlined National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes as a reason for their commitment and the Deep South expansion project. 

July marks the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers campaign, which has generated commitments from more than 280 companies – large and small. These companies have pledged to create nearly 10 million apprenticeships and other on-the-job training and continuing education opportunities for Americans from high school to those nearing retirement, so they will have the skills necessary to provide for themselves and their families. 

"Whether Crescent Valley or Silicon Valley, companies signing the Pledge to America’s Workers are prioritizing continued education and training for their workforce, strengthening America’s economy,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “At the Department of the Interior, we have been laser focused on implementing common sense improvements to our business processes while maintaining important environmental standards to better serve the American people and foster greater opportunities for America’s workers.”

The Cortez Mine has been in continuous operation since 1862 and now ranks as one of the world’s Top 10 Tier One gold mines with the Deep South expansion project increasing the acreage of the mine. Nevada Gold Mines LLC highlighted important changes to DOI’s administration of NEPA as an improvement to the permitting process, which have provided clear transparency and a greater understanding of the environmental consequences associated with development projects.

“The Deep South environmental impact statement represented a significant enhancement of the NEPA permitting process. In the past, each EIS approval required the publication of Notices of Intent and Availability which added around 18 months to the permitting timeline. The industry worked with the Department of the Interior to see if this step in the process could be streamlined, and the solution provided by then Deputy Secretary Bernhardt delivered a material improvement,” said Nevada Gold Mines’ Executive Managing Director Greg Walker.

Changes to how DOI administers NEPA stem from President Trump’s Executive Order 13807: Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects. DOI issued Order 3355 in accordance with this executive order, which implemented a new, streamlined process for infrastructure and energy projects.

The Order requires that environmental impact statement (EIS) documents be completed in one year and in less than 150 pages with exceptions for those that are unusually complex or in coordination with other Federal agencies. Additionally, to achieve improved efficiency without sacrificing any science, quality, or legal sufficiency, the DOI’s Solicitor’s Office is involved in each EIS from day one, and DOI’s Bureaus review each EIS in a concurrent briefing format rather than linearly. This has reduced EIS timelines by nearly a year per project.


Please be advised that this press release does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of the Interior or its employees of any product, service, or enterprise, including the Nevada Gold Mines LLC.

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