US President Donald Trump will revoke an Obama-era executive order that requires strict building standards for government-funded projects to reduce exposure to increased flooding from sea level rise, sources say.
Trump will sign his executive order on Tuesday afternoon to revoke the standards as part of his administration’s plan to “streamline the current process” for infrastructure projects, a government official says.
The official says the order will not prohibit state and local agencies from using a more stringent standard if they choose.
The sources gave details of an announcement the White House said was coming. Trump’s order will establish “discipline and accountability in the environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects”, the White House said on Monday.
The Trump administration has complained that it takes too much time to get permits and approvals for construction projects. The administration has issued dozens of rules and orders to reverse or rescind Obama-era regulations addressing climate change and its consequences such as rising sea levels and more severe storms.
The Obama-era standard required that builders factor in scientific projections for how climate change could affect flooding in a certain area and ensure projects can withstand rising sea levels and stronger downpours.
Obama required all federal agencies apply the standard to public infrastructure projects from housing to highways.
US officials have estimated that the United States suffered $US260 billion in flood related damages between 1980 and 2013.
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.