Trump Repeals Obama-Era Plan To Prepare For Increased Flooding

Donald Trump moves to streamline infrastructure permits

Environmental Streamlining EO Opens Critical Relief Valve to Build Additional Infrastructure

The executive order will set "a two-year goal for completion of the permitting process" with "accountability and discipline" - but establish a simplified process to move a project forward. This includes a rollback of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, which was established by executive order in 2015.

As part of his push to revamp the country's infrastructure, President Trump is repealing an Obama-era regulation on flood readiness, saying projects have to deal with too much red tape from the government.

Climate scientists warn that sea levels will rise substantially in the coming decades, and they say that long-term infrastructure projects will probably face more frequent and serious flood risks.

Trump said a highway that used to take 10 to 20 years to get approved would only take two years under his policy.

The Obama administration's 2015 order marked a major shift in how the federal government oversaw project planning, since agencies previously relied exclusively on historical flood data when specifying flood plain locations and coastal flood frequency.

It also covers a wide range of project types, including surface transportation, aviation, ports, water resources, energy, pipelines, drinking water, wastewater treatments and broadband.

Under Barack Obama, the USA federal government was required to consider the effects of global warming when planning infrastructure, such as the risk of flooding from predicted sea level rise. It does not set a minimum dollar amount for project size.

The order's other important target is that the federal government is to finish all approval decisions for a project within 90 days after the lead agency issues a record of decision, which is the final step in the EIS process.

"No longer will we tolerate one job-killing delay after another", Trump said.

But Rhea Suh, Natural Resources Defense Council president, opposed the executive order.

Environmental groups attacked Trump over his plan, with Janet Redman, the United States policy director at Oil Change International, saying the plan will lead the U.S. into "a fossil fuel buildout that locks America into climate catastrophe".

Opponents of Obama's order, including the National Association of Home Builders, had argued that by requiring homes in flood plains to be built higher than before, it would increase construction costs.

And Jessica Grannis, of the Georgetown Climate Centre, told ABC News: "What this order will do is ensure that we will waste more taxpayer money because federal agencies will no longer have to consider long-term flood risks to federally funded infrastructure projects". He says, "You're just adding a new layer of confusion and bureaucracy to existing problems". Florida Representative Carlos Curbelo, whose Miami-Dade County constituents live in a coastal community, said in a statement to the press, "This executive order is not fiscally conservative".

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