Yesterday the Trump Administration approved changing how the landmark National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is implemented.
By Matt Hickman
In what’s being called the “single biggest giveaway to polluters in the past 40 years,” President Donald Trump has followed through with his pledge to roll back the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a landmark 1970 conservation law signed into existence by President Richard Nixon intended to force federal agencies to consider the potential environmental repercussions of major construction projects including the building of highways, pipelines, airports, power plants, and so on. Most importantly, the law currently demands full transparency surrounding said projects and gives impacted communities—more often than not, underserved communities and communities of color—the opportunity to voice their concerns before any plans are finalized.
“We’re reclaiming America’s proud heritage as a nation of builders and a nation that can get things done,” said Trump on Wednesday while visiting a United Parcel Service shipping hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. In his speech, Trump decried the “mountains and mountains of red tape” associated with moving major federal projects forward.
Whether they do come in the form of a mountain—as described by Trump in typically hyperbolic fashion—or as a modest hill that adds a few months (or more realistically, multiple years) to the proceedings at hand, the bureaucratic checks and balances mandated by NEPA are in place to protect natural ecosystems and the health and well-being of Americans living in the vicinity of potentially disruptive projects that could lead to upticks in air and water pollution. The need to move forward at a measured pace while analyzing the known and potential environmental impacts of large-scale, federally-funded projects have been made all the more vital by a swiftly changing climate.
Read on >>> Source: ArchPaper Trump administration guts cornerstone environmental law to hasten federal construction projects