Approval of new pipelines, mines, roads and other major projects may be much easier in the future under new rules proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump today,media reported. Speaking at the White House, the president proposed amending the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the cornerstone of U.S. environmental law. The NEPA requires U.S. agencies to receive public feedback on new projects and to take into account the potential environmental hazards associated with any new federal or federally funded projects.
It has been used to oppose controversial projects such as the Dakota Access pipeline and the Keystone XL loss to Youtube. The reforms proposed by Mr. Trump would exempt programs that are largely not funded by the federal government. It will also impose strict two-year time limits on environmental reviews, which typically take longer and even cap the number of pages required by law for environmental impact statements. Mr. Trump said the move would speed up the construction of key infrastructure projects that are being hampered and hampered by a gruelling federal approval process.
More than 95 environmental initiatives have been carried out in the United States since Mr. Trump took office, the latest of which could have its worst fall yet. “It’s a very, very big proposal. “This proposal affects almost every major decision the federal government makes that affects the environment,” David Bernhardt, the Interior Secretary and former oil and gas lobbyist, said at the White House today.
Many environmentalists are angry. They worry that the proposal will make it easier to advance projects that exacerbate the climate crisis or harm people living in communities closest to energy and infrastructure projects that apply to the NEPA.
“When our world is burning, President Trump is adding fuel to the fire by depriving us of the right to information and the right to protect ourselves from irreparable harm,” Gina McCarthy, a former EPA administrator under the Obama administration, said in a statement. “
“This is a threat to communities across the country, especially black and brown-skinned communities suffering from air pollution,” said Heather McTeer Toney, national site director at Mons Clean Air Force. Toney is understood to have been appointed EPA regional administrator under Obama and was the first African-American mayor of Greenville, Mississippi. According to a 2017 report by the NAACP and Clean Air Task Force, black Americans are disproportionately exposed to unusually high rates of pollution from oil and gas facilities.
It is understood there will be a 60-day review period before the proposed rule change is finalized.