Trump’s Executive Order Seeks to Advance Major Infrastructure Projects
(June 10, 2020)
- An executive order to expedite the permitting process for big-ticket infrastructure projects that President Donald Trump signed recently is meant to assist the economy during the pandemic. “The need for continued progress in this streamlining effort is all the more acute now, due to the ongoing economic crisis,” according to the order, signed June 4. Under the order, the transportation secretary is directed to proceed with authorized and appropriated highway and infrastructure projects through relevant emergency and other guidelines expediting the process.
The transportation secretary also will be required to provide offices at the White House a report that summarizes its actions under the order, followed by a report detailing the status of the projects. Additionally, the order directs the departments of Agriculture, Interior and Defense, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed swiftly with permitting guidelines under various environmental protection laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act. The Council on Environmental Quality will be available to provide agencies guidance regarding its National Environmental Policy Act’s emergency regulations. Emergency authorities outlined in environmental statutes will serve as road maps for waiving certain environmental reviews for projects such as pipelines and highways.