Rounds Says Trump Plan To Change National Environmental Policy Would Help Business

(WNAX) — The Trump Administration is proposing changes to the National Environmental Policy Act. The changes have been sought by industries that argue those policies have been used as weapons by groups opposed to major projects. South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds says it would mean companies could put more money into actual construction rather than paperwork and lawyers…

“The idea on it is, if you’re putting money in and it’s being spent on paperwork, It’s not going into concrete. And so the idea here is…is to try to build it in a very timely and efficient manner and to make it more affordable on a per mile basis”.

Rounds says the proposal will be reviewed by his and other Congressional committees…

“The idea behind it is exactly what a lot of us in the Senate had been trying to do and you know, we think he’s moving in the right direction and we haven’t had a chance to go through to look at everything, but I know that we’re going to have an opportunity primarily because of the work that we do on the…on the Environment and Public Works Committee to actually go through in to clean this stuff up.”

Rounds says there are time limits for reviews in the proposed changes…

“I think the President said that he wants to set time limits for like two years for the completion of, you know environmental impact statements and one year for the completion of environmental assessments and that’s movement in the right direction for us. We like that idea and then, but this is following along the same lines as what we were starting to do within the Environment and Public Works Committee on our Public Works, bill that we try to do every single year.”

Opponents have said the changes could cause more damage to the environment than needed during construction of major projects.