Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Why is Trump rolling back build standards in flood areas?

Executive order rescinds rules intended to safeguard government-financed projects against sea-level rise, climate change

flooding brick
Tom Johnson reports
for NJ Spotlight:

President Donald Trump yesterday repealed stringent building standards aimed at protecting government-financed projects in flood-prone areas by accounting for sea-level rise associated with climate change.
In overturning the two-year-old regulation initiated by the Obama administration, the executive order will roll back protections for infrastructure projects funded with federal aid from the impact of rising sea levels.
The standards, adopted in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and other big storms, were viewed as one of the most significant steps taken in decades to reduce exposure to more frequent flooding due to sea-level rise and climate change.
The action is part of a broad-based effort by the Trump administration to streamline the process for approving infrastructure projects and to roll back regulations dealing with climate change.

A baffling move

The repeal disappointed and baffled environmentalists, planners, and flood-plain managers who argued the Obama standard ensured taxpayers’ dollars would not be wasted on infrastructure projects subject to repeated flooding.
“This anti-regulatory agenda is really going to put lives, first responders, and property at risk,’’ said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society. “Economically, it is going to increase costs for disaster bailout and storm recovery efforts.’’
The order will not bar state and local agencies from using a more stringent standard, nor does it apply to private investments.

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