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On June 4, President Trump signed executive order 13927, which directs federal agencies to expedite the delivery of transportation infrastructure projects, an action ABC said will streamline permitting and facilitate infrastructure improvements while protecting the environment, health and safety.

The order directs agencies, including the Transportation, Interior, Agriculture and Defense departments and the Army Corps of Engineers as well as executive departments, to take all appropriate steps to use their lawful emergency authorities and other authorities to respond to the national emergency and to facilitate the nation’s economic recovery. This includes measures to speed infrastructure investments and similar actions that will strengthen the economy and return Americans to work, while providing appropriate protection for public health and safety, natural resources and the environment, as required by law.

Specifically, the order requires the departments and agencies to advance infrastructure projects through relevant emergency and other guidelines to expedite the permitting process, provide a report that summarizes its actions under the order and provide a detailed status of the projects. The order also requires the relevant departments and agencies to proceed swiftly with permitting guidelines under various environmental protection laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and other statutes and regulations.

In a recent Construction Dive article, Kristen Swearingen, ABC vice president of legislative and political affairs, commented on the executive order, saying, "By emphasizing the need to improve our country’s crumbling infrastructure and creating additional flexibility, […] the construction industry will be better able to plan and execute even the most complex projects while safeguarding the health of our workforce, communities and the environment.”  

ABC will continue to track and report administration and congressional infrastructure news in Newsline.