NY AG sues Trump for favoring projects over environment

Two dozen attorneys general fight plan to skip infrastructure reviews

National /
Sep.September 08, 2020 11:15 AM
New York Attorney General Letitia James and President Donald Trump (Getty)

New York Attorney General Letitia James and President Donald Trump (Getty)

Two dozen states are trying to stop the Trump administration from allowing certain infrastructure projects to bypass the environmental review process.

Attorneys general from the 24 states, including New York’s Letitia James, filed a lawsuit that challenges the Trump administration’s changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, the Brooklyn Eagle reported.

“By restricting the types of projects that undergo environmental review prior to their construction, it puts both our communities and our environment in harm’s way,” said James, who took office promising to challenge President Donald Trump at every turn.

The lawsuit said the Trump administration’s July rule — which advocates say gutted the 50-year-old federal law — will reduce the government’s ability to look at environmental impacts of projects and could eliminate the public participation process.

NEPA, created in 1969, requires federal agencies to look at the environmental impacts of any federal actions and consider alternatives. The Trump rule would exempt highway, power plant and pipeline projects, among others. Business interests say it would enhance the nation’s competitiveness.

Critics of the change said upon its announcement that it would be challenged in court.

The move comes amid a broader push to reduce environmental regulations by the Trump administration, which argues that it hampers economic growth. [Brooklyn Eagle] — Keith Larsen


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