Anticipated Trump Executive Order Places Infrastructure in Flood's Way

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Pres. Trump signs an executive order to speed approvals of permits for highways, bridges and other major building efforts as part of his proposal to spend $1T to fix aging usa infrastructure.

The directive, which Trump signed on August 15, also revokes a January 2015 executive order signed by President Obama establishing a federal flood-risk standard to promote projects' resiliency.

Speaking at Trump Tower in NY, he said the approval process for projects was "badly broken" and the nation's infrastructure was a "massive self-inflicted wound on our country". He also equated the country's infrastructure to that of a Third World nation as a way to instill a sense of urgency for building new roads and bridges.

In June, Trump said one of the biggest obstacles to new infrastructure projects was "the painfully slow, costly and time-consuming process for getting permits and approvals to build".

The infrastructure plan Trump promised to unveil within his first 100 days in office will likely be presented to Congress by the end of the year, administration officials have said. The White House did not provide any more details on the coming executive order.

A brief fact sheet posted on the White House web site does not reference that measure, but says it implements a "One Federal Decision policy" under which the lead agency will work with other relevant agencies to speed decisions. He says, "You're just adding a new layer of confusion and bureaucracy to existing problems".

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The president, speaking at a news conference at Trump Tower in NY, said it can cost hundreds of millions of dollars and 17 years to approve an ordinary highway project because of burdensome regulations.

The order applied to Department of Defense projects, for example, as well as any local or state project being built using federal dollars, such as schools and water treatment plants.

The current standard for these government projects requires that designers factor in projections for climate change and flooding as a effect of rising sea levels and increasingly intense downpours. "This is what it takes to get something approved today ... and this is what we will bring it down to.

This over regulated permitting process is a massive, self-inflicted wound".

"It's going to be quick, it's going to be a very streamlined process", Trump said.

"By rolling back the updated federal flood risk management standard, the Trump administration would be putting vital infrastructure that communities around the country depend on in harm's way". That agency would be the primary point of contact for the project and help guide the project through the stages of the environmental review process.