Trump to put new environmental review rules into force

Timothy Puko

President Trump said Wednesday that his administration has completed its update to the National Environmental Policy Act, including changes that will mandate deadlines for completing environmental reviews.

The new rules would require full environmental impact statements to be completed within two years. Less comprehensive environmental assessments would have to be concluded within one year. It hews to a proposal the administration made in January.

The measures, which are expected to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday and go into effect in 60 days, are supported by business groups and trade unions who say the environmental review process has been distorted to become a tool to endlessly delay needed highways, pipelines and other infrastructure projects.

The changes are opposed by environmentalists who say the reviews serve as a bulwark against climate change and help protect poor and minority communities that typically lack the resources to defend their interests from development that could harm their neighborhoods.

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