President Trump's repeal on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 of Executive Order 13690 to remove critical safeguards intended to ensure that federally funded infrastructure projects are planned and constructed appropriately to take into account hazardous flood areas is a huge mistake. Executive Order 13960 required that a determination of areas at flood risk be based on the best available and actionable science, and on FEMA's Federal Flood Risk Management Standards (FFRMS). This action was intended to ensure that taxpayer dollars would not be wasted on infrastructure or residences located in areas that experience repeated flood inundation. Taking flood risk into account when allocating these federal dollars would have minimized the cycle of build-flood-rebuild, thereby protecting lives and reducing recurring post-flood cleanup and reconstruction costs.
If you lived through Hurricane Sandy's devastation, then you know this decision can be deadly and destructive.
Trump infrastructure push rolls back environmental rules
AUGUST 15, 2017 / 12:55 PM
Valerie Volcovici and Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday rolled back rules regarding environmental reviews and restrictions on government-funded building projects in flood-prone areas as part of his proposal to spend $1 trillion to fix aging U.S. infrastructure.
Trump's latest executive order would speed approvals of permits for highways, bridges, pipelines and other major building efforts. It revokes an Obama-era executive order aimed at reducing exposure to flooding, sea level rise and other consequences of climate change.
"It's going to be quick. It's going to be a very streamlined process. And by the way, if it doesn't meet environmental safeguards, we're not going to approve it - very simple," Trump said at a press conference at Trump Tower in New York.
President Trump promised in his election campaign to press for widespread deregulation to spur business spending. The former New York real state developer has complained that it takes too long to get permits for big construction projects.
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