Tuesday, President Trump unveiled his long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. But in order to streamline these projects, the administration is proposing changes to the way they are reviewed for environmental impact.
The National Environmental Policy Act was enacted in 1970. Called NEPA for short, the law was created after the construction of the Interstate Highways System damaged delicate ecosystems around the country.
Trump’s proposal seeks to streamline the NEPA process, in part by designating a lead agency for each project, and limiting reviews to two years. Currently, the timeline for approval averages between three and five years, but can last longer than that.
According to E&E News, the administration would also like a 150-day statute of limitations on appealing the approval of permits – while the current limit is six years for many of them. Environmental groups see these moves as ways to dull NEPA’s teeth.
The budget proposal also includes $50 billion for rural infrastructure, which the president has said is badly needed.
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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