Trump to sign order, talk of infrastructure plans

Watch live: Trump to sign order, talk of infrastructure plans

Watch live: Trump to sign order, talk of infrastructure plans

Trump's latest executive order would speed approvals of permits for highways, bridges, pipelines and other major building efforts.

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.

Trump's definition of the United States - among the most developed nations in the world - as being like a third-world nation when it comes to infrastructure echoed the statements of other U.S. leaders over the past several years.

President Donald Trump announced at a Tuesday afternoon press conference that he would sign an executive order streamlining the permitting process for construction on federal infrastructure.

This move is part of his new executive order that aims to establish "discipline and accountability in the environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects", according to a statement the White House released yesterday. The former NY real state developer has complained that it takes too long to get permits for big construction projects. "We're going to get infrastructure built quickly and inexpensively", he said.

The current standard for these government projects requires that designers factor in projections for climate change and flooding as a effect of rising sea levels and increasingly intense downpours.

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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.

Trump later said the EO "also requires agencies to work together efficiently by requiring one lead agency for each major infrastructure project".

FEMA's estimated that the USA lost $260 billion in flooding damages from 1980 to 2013.

Trump's decision is undoing "the most significant action taken in a generation" to safeguard infrastructure, Rafael Lemaitre, former director of public affairs at FEMA, said to Reuters.

Flood policy expert Eli Lehrer, president of the libertarian R Street Institute who has criticized many Obama initiatives, said that in this case, "The Trump administration is acting very rashly in part out of the desire to undo a climate measure" from its predecessor.

He called Trump's order "an enormous mistake that is disastrous for taxpayers", adding the Obama rule "would have saved billions of dollars over time".

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