Trump's infrastructure push rolls back environmental rules

Trump's infrastructure push rolls back environmental rules

President Trump signed an executive order on August 15 aimed at speeding the federal permitting process for transportation and other infrastructure projects.

The directive, which Trump signed on August 15, also revokes a January 2015 executive order signed by President Obama establishing a federal flood-risk standard to promote projects' resiliency.

Trump will appear at Trump Tower in New York City and give a statement on his push to improve the nation's roads, bridges and other rebuilding projects, at 3:45 p.m. EDT. The president said eliminating "the consultants" and having one lead agency for each infrastructure project would be the key. "We will rebuild our country with American workers, American iron, American aluminum, American steel", Trump said.

Trump announced he was revoking the standard in a single line in his sweeping infrastructure executive order signed on Tuesday.

"What this order will do is ensure that we will waste more taxpayer money because federal agencies will no longer have to consider long-term flood risks to federally funded infrastructure projects", said Jessica Grannis, who manages the adaptation program at the Georgetown Climate Center.

The president and his administration have designed most of their policies in spite of what federal scientists have to say about sea-level rise and climate change, but this reversal has already been characterized as especially ill-conceived.

Speaking at the Trump Tower in NY alongside Transportation secretary Elaine Chao, he said builders have to navigate up to 16 approvals, 9 agencies, and 29 statutes.


The permitting push is part of an ongoing effort by the White House to streamline the lengthy construction approval process, which Trump has said can take up to 10 years.

The Obama administration said the more stringent standards were necessary because of sea level rise associated with climate change. This is going to happen quickly.

But the environmental group Oil Change International said the order would silence local communities that have safety and environmental concerns about major projects like pipelines. "Without this standard, we're going to be spending increasing amounts to do the exact same thing".

"This over-regulated permitting process is a massive self-inflicted wound on our country".

"It's going to be quick, it's going to be a very streamlined process", Trump said. That agency would be the primary point of contact for the project and help guide the project through the stages of the environmental review process.

"While protecting the environment, we will build gleaming new roads, bridges, railways, waterways, tunnels and highways".

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