Administration Restores Stricter Environmental Reviews

The WSJ reports the Biden administration is restoring stricter environmental standards for approving new pipelines, highways, power plants and other construction projects, including requiring consideration of how such projects might affect climate change.

The changes reinstate National Environmental Policy Act measures that had been removed by former President Trump, who said that federal regulations were needlessly hindering much-needed infrastructure projects.

The Trump administration had deleted from the regulations the definition of cumulative effects, which called on regulators to take into account long-term impacts such as frequent exposure to toxic air. Environmental groups said the absence of that definition confused regulators on whether to analyze those effects.

Business trade groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation  opposed restoring the measures when first proposed last year, noting the additional reviews could stall needed improvements funded by the the $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed by President Biden last year. s