In a release put out Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced a new rule to modernize federal reviews to accelerate projects involving highways and pipelines, among other infrastructure developments.
“For the first time in 40 years, President Donald J. Trump is taking action to right-size the Federal Government’s environmental review process,” read the release.
The final rule modernizes National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations by arranging specific court decisions to clarify NEPA’s application and by widening public involvement in NEPA reviews through technology. It also improves management by incorporating the president’s One Federal Decision policy, fortifying a two-year time limit for completion of environmental impact statements, while one year is allocated for completion of environmental assessments.
“The Federal environmental review process has historically been far too complex, costly, and time consuming,” read the release. “Since NEPA’s enactment, the environmental review process has been burdensome for both Federal agencies conducting reviews and Americans seeking permits or approvals.”
While policymakers in Washington work toward a bipartisan legislation that benefits infrastructure, this move by the Trump administration is another step in the right direction in regards to having an infrastructure-focused conversation.