Anticipated Trump Executive Order Places Infrastructure in Flood's Way

  • Anticipated Trump Executive Order Places Infrastructure in Flood's Way

Anticipated Trump Executive Order Places Infrastructure in Flood's Way

The order, signed on Tuesday, revokes an executive order signed by President Barack Obama on January 30, 2015, to establish the standard and a stakeholder input process.

Trump will sign an executive order that will end the requirement that flood prone infrastructure is built with rising sea levels in mind, which means that thanks to Trump, it will infrastructure will be more unsafe to human life during floods.

Even though a White House official told the Post Trump's order will not prevent "state and local agencies from using a more stringent standard if they choose", environmentalists swiftly condemned Trump's decision to revoke the flood risk provisions.

PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.

Trump has long called for the reduction of regulatory steps for infrastructure projects. It stipulates that environmental reviews and authorizations by federal agencies for major infrastructure projects "should be reduced to not more than an average of approximately two years". Many supporters of the Obama rule believed it would save taxpayers money that they would have spent fixing flooded structures; others heralded it for saving lives.

When you're on the front lines like South Florida, we know the importance of having more resilient building codes to protect our infrastructure, especially when taxpayer dollars are used....[Trump's order is] irresponsible and it will lead to taxpayer dollars being wasted on projects that may not be built to endure the flooding we are already seeing and know is only going to get worse.
It made no changes, for example, in the flood insurance program for private properties, which has come under heavy and bipartisan attack in the last several years for essentially subsidizing unwise placement of homes and other buildings in harm's way.

The EO calls for the director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to work with the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC) within 180 days to establish cross-agency priority (CAP) goal on streamlining the infrastructure permitting process.

A report given by the American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA) in late 2016 following Trump's election warned of the need "to be ready for proposals to weaken" existing CRM regulations in the environmental review process. "I actually think Democrats will go along with the infrastructure". It's going to be a very streamlined process. Each successive administration has drawn the process closer and closer to mere rubber stamping, with the increasing possibility of its dissolution altogether.

President Obama's executive order amended a 1977 executive order on floodplain management that required federal agencies to avoid the long- and short-term adverse impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of floodplains and to avoid direct or indirect support of floodplain development wherever there is a practicable alternative, according to Obama's order.

In 2001, Bush issued Executive Order 13212 titled "Actions To Expedite Energy-Related Projects". That agency would be responsible for steering the project through federal review and authorization processes.

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