Executive Order Reduces Air Permitting Timeframe for Some Construction
The Environmental Protection Agency will be required to take final action for Clean Air Act (CAA) preconstruction permits within one year under an executive order signed by President Trump on April 12. The order would loosen restrictions around the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) that have led to “significant practical challenges for constructing or expanding manufacturing and industrial facilities,” according to the order. The order will affect development in areas that fail to meet CAA standards for smog, soot, carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. Major projects such as highways or industrial construction in these areas must go through an additional layer of scrutiny to make sure they won’t make air quality worse. The Sierra Club, said the order would cut short the review of clean air permits, while the American Forest & Paper Association said it would “ensure permit decisions reflect real world conditions,” and support economic growth.