Trump signs order to expedite infrastructure construction

By |  August 17, 2017

President Donald Trump signed an executive order for a more efficient federal permitting process for construction infrastructure projects, allegedly without harming the environment, reports the Chicago Tribune.

According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), Trump signed the order in the hopes of reducing a typical highway permitting process from 17 years to two.

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Trump’s order includes revoking an executive order signed by President Barack Obama that requires projects built in flood plains with federal aid to take sea-level rise (driven by climate change) into account in their design. Trump has suggested the predicted risks from sea level rise are overblown, the Chicago Tribune adds.

Trump says projects will be subjected to environmental safeguards.

“It’s going to be quick, it’s going to be a very streamlined process,” Trump says. “And, by the way, if it doesn’t meet environmental safeguards, we’re not going to approve it. Very simple.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, building trade groups have urged Trump to revoke the flood plain order, saying it was overly bureaucratic and increased the cost of projects. Environmentalists contend that ignoring the Earth’s changing climate is shortsighted, the Chicago Tribune says.

NSSGA applauds Trump’s efforts to speed up infrastructure projects.

“While we need strong federal investment into our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and it is our hope that Congress is working with the White House to rapidly address this problem, we applaud the government looking for ways to expedite projects,” says Laura O’Neill-Kaumo, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs for NSSGA.

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