The White House says the new law will restore community protection on pipelines and other major US projects.
The administration of US President Joe Biden is restoring federal regulations that require rigorous environmental assessments on large infrastructure projects such as highways, pipelines and oil wells, including climate change and the potential impact on nearby communities.
Long-term assessments lag behind the Trump administration to speed up projects and create jobs.
The U.S. law, which ended on Tuesday, restores key provisions of the National Environmental Protection Act, and the White House signed the bill in November to ensure community protection during review, including $ 1 trillion in infrastructure, roads, bridges, and energy projects.
The White House Environmental Quality Council (CEQ) said the new law, which will take effect in late May, should address the challenges posed by Trump’s policies and restore public confidence during environmental assessments.
“Restoring these basic community protections will ensure control, reduce conflict and help ensure projects are built properly for the first time,” said CEQ Chairperson Brenda Malory. “Improving these wells during the environmental review process will help projects to be built faster, more resilient and more beneficial to those living nearby.”
Former President Donald Trump has revised environmental assessments by 2020 to accelerate projects he says will boost the economy and provide jobs.
Legislation changes that year restricted environmental assessments and public opinion time limits, and allowed federal officials to ignore the project’s role in aggregate results, such as climate change.
Environmental groups and African American, Latino and Native activists have protested against the Trump administration, saying it would exacerbate pollution in oil fields, chemical plants and other hazardous areas.
The Biden administration has made it a priority to address such environmental issues.
The move comes as the Supreme Court repeals a special Trump-era law restricting state and Native American power to shut down pipelines and other power projects that could pollute rivers, streams and other waterways.
Earlier this month, the court ruled in favor of the lower court, overturning a 5-4 law ruling. The decision does not interfere with the Biden administration’s plan to rewrite the Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Contrary to repeated statements by Trump and others in the administration, Malorie said environmental protection groups or states would be more likely to face legal challenges and more rigorous environmental assessments would speed up the completion of critical projects.
Findings that many of Trump’s environmental decisions have not been adequately analyzed have been altered or delayed by the courts.
Environmental groups have praised the amendment, which restores bedside protection under Nepa’s 1970 law, allowing the government to accept public opinion and consider environmental, economic and health issues before approving any major project.
“NEPA plays a vital role in keeping our community and environment healthy and secure, and Donald Trump’s attempt to undermine NEPA is nothing more than a ploy by corporate pollsters,” said Leslie Feldes, policy director, advocate and national director of the club. Legal issues.
“White House action will” re-establish important NEPA protections and ensure that people and communities continue to be protected today and in future generations, “she said.
Business groups and Republican lawmakers have criticized the rule change, which significantly reduces infrastructure construction.
Chad Whiteman, vice president of environment and regulatory affairs, said: American Chamber of Commerce.