Trump signs executive order to streamline environmental reviews

August 16, 2017

US President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order aimed at streamlining federal environmental reviews for energy and other infrastructure projects on Aug. 15. “My executive order requires agencies to work together efficiently by requiring one lead agency for each major infrastructure project. It also holds agencies accountable if they fail to streamline their review process,” he said at Trump Tower in New York City where he took the action.

“Each agency is accountable. We’re going to get infrastructure built quickly and relatively inexpensively, and the permitting process will go very quickly,” Trump declared. “No longer will we tolerate one job-killing delay after another. No longer will we accept a broken system that benefits consultants and lobbyists at the expense of hard-working Americans.”

The president spoke largely about restoring highways, bridges, and tunnels, but the order also applies to oil and gas pipelines and to waterways which barges use to transport oil products from refineries to terminals.

The order establishes a 2-year goal for processing infrastructure projects’ environmental documents, with a lead federal agency working with other agencies to complete environmental reviews and permitting decisions. Each agency will sign a join record of decision, and all federal permits will be issued 90 days later.

The order also mandates the entire federal infrastructure permitting and review process and holds every agency responsible, the White House said. Under it, the Council on Environmental Quality will develop and implement an action plan to improve environmental reviews government-wide. It also will mediate disagreements between federal agencies so a decision isn’t delayed amid bureaucratic disputes.

The White House Office of Management and Budget will develop a 2-year government-wide modernization goal and ensure federal agencies take meaningful steps to achieve it....

Read entire article at Oil & Gas Review.

 

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