Lawmakers Request Documents Related to June Executive Order

08/07/2020 3:13 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

In June President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) directing federal agencies to waive environmental regulations to speed up infrastructure projects under the auspices of responding to the “economic emergency” presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than 50 Democratic lawmakers have requested that the Administration turn over documents relating to that EO, including information on the shortlist of construction projects under consideration to be expedited. 

From The Hill:

Agencies had 30 days to report which projects will be expedited under the order, but there was no requirement for that list to be publicized.

“By keeping these reports from the public, this administration is concealing its own response to the economic crisis brought on by the COVID pandemic. If the administration is confident that this Executive Order can legally and legitimately provide economic relief, it should disclose which projects and decisions it is advancing under the auspices of the order,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the White House spearheaded by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), House Transportation Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), and House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-A.Z.)

The order would slash the requirements in a number of landmark environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires rigorous environmental review before building new infrastructure like highways or pipelines.

But the lawmakers warn the White House is subject to “a myriad of federal laws that require transparency and public accountability” that it cannot legally sidestep.

Read the full article from The Hill here, and stay tuned to the ACRAsphere for additional information.

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