Monday, September 04, 2017

After Harvey, the Trump Administration Reconsiders Flood Rules It Just Rolled Back

How Trump is rolling back Obama's legacy (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
A couple of weeks ago President Trump scrapped Obama-era rules, intended to reduce the risks posed by flooding, that established new construction standards for roads, housing, and other infrastructure projects that receive federal dollars.

Trump derided these restrictions, which were written in response to growing concerns over the impact of climate change, and other federal rules as useless red tape holding back the economy.

“This over-regulated permitting process is a massive, self­-inflicted wound on our country — it’s disgraceful — denying our people much-needed investments in their community,” he said in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York during an event to tout his infrastructure policies.

But now, in the wake of the massive flooding and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey along the Gulf Coast, the Trump administration is considering whether to issue similar requirements to build higher in flood-prone areas as the government prepares to spend billions of dollars in response to the storm.

This potential policy shift underscores the extent to which the reality of this week’s storm has collided with Trump officials’ push to upend President Barack Obama’s policies and represents a striking acknowledgment by an administration skeptical of climate change that the government must factor changing weather into some of its major infrastructure policies.

White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said in an interview that the administration had already been planning to replace the 2015 standard that Trump rescinded Aug. 15 as part of a broader executive order on infrastructure.  But Bossert added that, given the damage the storm has wrought and the money the government is poised to spend, “It might expedite our efforts to reach coordinated consensus here as we institute policy.”

“We don’t just want to build back faster; we want to build back better, faster, and stronger,” Bossert said.

Read more at After Harvey, the Trump Administration Reconsiders Flood Rules It Just Rolled Back

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