Trump Signs Executive Order to Revoke Obama-Era Flood Risk Building Standards

Donald Trump moves to streamline infrastructure permits

WATCH LIVE: President Trump issues statement after signing Executive Order on infrastructure

President Trump is expected to issue an executive order today that places federal investments in infrastructure projects more at risk from flooding.

Under Trump's order, agencies must complete environmental reviews of projects within two years on average.

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".

A recent draft of an upcoming report from scientists representing 13 federal agencies say sea levels along US coastlines could rise by more than one foot on average by 2050, potentially more in the Northeast and western Gulf of Mexico. "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". "We're literally like a third-world country", Trump said, while touting his latest executive order, which he called the next step toward restoring the nation's infrastructure.

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Rafael Lemaitre, former director of public affairs at FEMA who worked on the Obama-era order, said Trump is undoing "the most significant action taken in a generation" to safeguard US infrastructure.

The executive order, purportedly aimed at speeding up infrastructure development, would roll back the federal flood risk management standard.

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.

"I stand by my man - both of them", Chao reportedly said Tuesday.

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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 standards were set as part of a national policy to anticipate the stronger storms and rise in sea levels that have been projected to occur as the consequences of climate change continue to grow more devastating.

"This over-regulated permitting process is a massive self-inflicted wound on our country". This is going to happen quickly. "It's very simple. We're not going to approve it". It also holds agencies accountable if they fail to streamline their review process.

"The potential move comes as the [Trump] administration is proposing a $1 trillion build-out of roads, bridges and other infrastructure over 10 years", Climatewire wrote of the rumors in March. It sets out a two-year goal to process environmental documents for major projects.

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