Press Statement: Bill to Expedite WWII Memorial Sets Dangerous Precedent

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   May 15, 2001
Contact:   Andrea Keller, NPCA, 202-454-3332


Press Statement: Bill to Expedite WWII Memorial Sets Dangerous Precedent

Washington, D.C. - The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is very supportive of the creation of a memorial to commemorate World War II veterans. However, H.R. 1696, which would expedite the construction of the World War II memorial on the National Mall, takes such extreme steps to waive environmental laws and evade established federal processes that NPCA cannot support its passage.

The proposed legislation would nullify the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Commemorative Works Act. The Commemorative Works Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, was specifically designed to protect the Mall from becoming overwhelmed with memorials and is relevant to debate over the World War II memorial. Given environmental issues on the site NEPA is also relevant and should not be summarily nullified.

The bill would also circumvent executive and judiciary review by eliminating appropriate oversight by the National Capital Planning Commission and the National Park Service, among others. The bill would nullify a citizen suit pending in federal court. Eliminating oversight on the first memorial to be built on the central panel of the Mall since the Lincoln Memorial is ill advised and contrary to democratic principles and practice.

This legislation would set a dangerous precedent—nullifying federal laws and oversight—for other memorials proposed for the Mall. Many organizations with compelling and worthy causes have requested memorials. Passing HR 1696 can only lead to a multitude of damaging consequences.

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