Trump Issues Executive Order To Speed up Infrastructure Projects
Thursday, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) instructing the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Defense to use emergency powers under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to speed up infrastructure projects through the approval process on federal lands as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest EO is likely to draw many lawsuits from environmental groups if projects are given the greenlight to move forward without complying with the environmental review process required under these statutes.
Several of the President’s previous EOs aimed at speeding pipeline approvals have been held up in court challenges because they attempt to override Congressionally mandated requirements. Click here for the story.
Meanwhile, the EPA finalized a new rule on Monday to significantly rein in states’ power to veto natural gas pipelines, coal export terminals and other infrastructure projects over their water quality impact.
The limit on state powers to veto natural gas pipelines is of particular concern to heating fuel dealers throughout the Northeast.