Trump signs order rolling back environmental rules on infrastructure

US President Donald Trump has rolled back rules regarding environmental reviews and restrictions on government-funded infrastructure projects. He has signed an executive order, which would speed up the process to […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

US President Donald Trump has rolled back rules regarding environmental reviews and restrictions on government-funded infrastructure projects.

He has signed an executive order, which would speed up the process to get permits for projects including energy production and generation such as fossil fuels, renewables, nuclear and hydro sources as well as electricity transmission and pipelines.

They would also include roadways, bridges, aviation, sewer infrastructure and drinking water infrastructure.

According to the Trump Administration, the US currently lacks a system for tracking the costs of the environmental review and permitting process for major infrastructure projects, with complex projects taking seven years.

The Order implements a One Federal Decision policy, suggesting a single agency can take 3.7 to five year on average to complete an environmental review.

The executive order would minimise the extent to which infrastructure projects have to consider climate-related risks and make the process “more efficient and effective”.

However, Mr Trump argued the order would speed up the process at which infrastructure is built while still protecting the environment.

Speaking during a press conference, he said: “It’s going to be quick. It’s going to be a very streamlined process. And by the way, if it doesn’t meet environmental safeguards, we’re not going to approve it – very simple.”

The US recently officially notified the UN of its intention to leave the Paris climate change deal.