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President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday designed to speed up the approval process for road, bridge, pipeline and other infrastructure projects in the United States. The president’s action rolls back Obama-era rules regarding environmental reviews and restrictions on government-funded building projects in flood-prone areas. Those rules were enacted two years ago to reduce exposure to flooding and the consequences of climate change, but they had not yet taken effect.

The executive order sets a two-year goal for completing permits needed on major infrastructure plans, and creates a “one federal decision” protocol that would appoint a lead federal agency to work with other agencies to complete the environmental reviews and permitting for infrastructure projects. The president said this change will reduce the cost of infrastructure projects.

Jay Timmons, the president & CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, said in his organization’s newsletter that the executive order is a “fantastic step in the right direction” because it will streamline the permitting process.  Read more…