Trump may restrict length of environmental reviews under infrastructure plan

Trump may restrict length of environmental reviews under infrastructure plan
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The Trump administration may enforce restrictions on the length of environmental reviews as part of an effort to streamline the project approval process in his $1 trillion infrastructure package.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, speaking at a Competitive Enterprise Institute dinner Wednesday evening, outlined some of the broad details of Trump’s rebuilding proposal.

The plan is expected to roll back regulations that can slow down transportation projects and streamline the lengthy construction approval and permitting process, with the goal of bringing the timeline from as long as 10 years down to two years.

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Chao said the administration’s infrastructure task force has already identified dozens of potential proposals to “cut red tape and reduce time delays and cost burdens.”

One idea is to allow steps in the permitting process to occur simultaneously instead of sequentially.

Another idea under consideration is enforcing the page-limit restrictions on environmental reports, which Chao said can reach tens of thousands of pages.

“Streamlining the regulatory process not only cuts costs, it can improve the environmental outcomes by delivering infrastructure improvements more quickly,” she said. “Resources will be spent on actual environmental mitigation, rather than stacks of paperwork.”