President Trump has plans to change environmental law that protects vulnerable populations.
The Donald Trump administration continues its habit of undoing policies set to protect the people who need it most. Most recently, the president is expected to undo an environmental law set in the 1970s.
The Hill reports modifications to the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act are being proposed by the Trump administration to cut regulations and expedite projects. NEPA protects communities by mandating environmental reviews of construction projects and pipelines.
Introduced in January, the plans to rollback on NEPA are moving forward. Democratic leaders oppose, calling out the impact the changes could have on specific communities.
“The Trump administration’s NEPA rollback will further endanger those bearing the greatest burden of legacy environmental injustice and structural racism,” says Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va) to The Hill.
The president is expected to confirm the revisions while visiting the UPS Hapeville Airport Hub in Atlanta. With his differences, NEPA would be less strict in the projects needing review before execution.
According to The Hill, the updated law will exclude certain projects from review under NEPA, allowing more industry involvement. It also would no longer require “cumulative” effects of new projects including climate change and pollution, to be considered before approval.
“From day one, my administration has made fixing this regulatory nightmare a top priority. And we want to build new roads, bridges, tunnels, highways bigger, better, faster, and we want to build them at less cost,” Trump said in when introducing the idea, according to The Hill.
The Hill reports over 100 Democratic lawmakers wrote to the administration in opposition to the upcoming NEPA changes.
They write, “NEPA was created to give a voice to those who are often rendered voiceless and has successfully allowed impacted populations to challenge projects that negatively affect their water quality, air quality, economic prosperity, and overall health and safety.”
NEPA is often used in court cases, including judgments that aided in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline.
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