A proposed change to the National Environmental Policy Act would make it easier for federal agencies to embark on highway, pipeline and other infrastructure projects without taking environmental impacts into account, the New York Times reports.
The National Environmental Policy Act, which was enacted in 1970, assures “that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment,” according to the EPA.
The proposed Trump administration changes would reduce the guidelines set in place that protect the environment when airports, military complexes, highways and other public or government structures are constructed.
The changes to the act would also reduce obstacles for fossil fuel projects and would make it easier for these projects to avoid disclosing “plans to do things like discharge waste, cut trees or increate air pollution,” according to the New York Times.
Furthermore, projects would no longer have to take the “cumulative consequences” of new infrastructure into account, including things like how projects will impact seal level and climate change.
Although the proposed changes would not actually amend the act, they would alter the way the act is put into effect. The public will have 60 days to comment on these potential changes.