Trump wants faster permitting on infrastructure projects

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President Donald Trump compared the US' crumbling infrastructure to that of a third-world country while speaking at Trump Tower in NY on Tuesday afternoon.

At a signing ceremony that will take place at his New York City Trump Tower on Tuesday, Trump will reportedly reverse an Obama-era policy from 2015 that directed agencies to set stricter standards for where roads, buildings, public housing, and other infrastructure projects receiving federal funds can be built.

"And actually, infrastructure is something that I think we'll have bipartisan support on", Trump told reporters at Trump Tower in New York City on August 15 amid a barrage of questions about last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Trump said that if projects are deemed to create environmental problems, they won't be approved. "We will rebuild our country with American workers, American iron, American aluminum, American steel", Trump said.

Full text of the order is not yet available, but multiple media outlets are reporting it revokes an earlier executive order signed by President Obama requiring that many infrastructure projects factor in potential sea level from climate change.

Rafael Lemaitre, former director of public affairs at FEMA who worked on the Obama-era order, said Trump is undoing "the most significant action taken in a generation" to safeguard US infrastructure.

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"I stand by my man - both of them", Chao reportedly said Tuesday.

In announcing the standards, the Obama administration cited a National Climate Assessment finding that more than $1 trillion worth of property and structures in the United States are at risk of inundation if sea levels rise two feet above current levels, something that scientists believe could happen by 2050.

The president, speaking at a news conference at Trump Tower in NY, said it can cost hundreds of millions of dollars and 17 years to approve an ordinary highway project because of burdensome regulations.

Tucked into the new executive order is a controversial provision that rescinds an Obama-era order requiring government-funded infrastructure projects in flood-prone areas to consider flood risk and the impacts of climate change.

President Donald Trump has unveiled new plans to speed up approval processes for highways and other infrastructure projects, by revoking an environmental regulation aimed at protecting against the effects of climate change.

A government official told Reuters that Trump's decision would "streamline the current process" of approving construction on infrastructure. It sets out a two-year goal to process environmental documents for major projects. "We can either build smarter now, or put taxpayers on the hook to pay exponentially more when it floods", he said.

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