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81 HOUSE MEMBERS URGE TRUMP TO WITHDRAW EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT DANGEROUSLY CIRCUMVENTS KEY ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS INTENDED TO PROTECT FRONTLINE COMMUNITIES

June 18, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Donald McEachin (VA-04), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Mike Levin (CA-49), Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del-At Large) and Katie Porter (CA-45) and more than 70 colleagues in urging the Trump Administration to immediately withdraw an Executive Order that seeks to allow development projects to bypass key environmental reviews that are required by law. These reviews are intended to protect communities across this country from potential adverse environmental effects. 

President Trump’s June 4 Executive Order, issued under the guise of an “emergency order” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, would sidestep environmental review requirements under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Endangered Species Act to speed approval for transportation, civil works and other infrastructure projects.

The Members wrote: “This hasty decision would increase the risk of harm to the frontline and fenceline communities that have faced the greatest burdens of environmental injustice and structural racism for generations, and are also hardest hit by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. By seeking to circumvent these longstanding environmental laws, you are making clear that your priority is not to protect the American people. Your Order undermines our democracy by taking away the ability for public comment. Moreover, the nature and timing of your actions – the use of an Executive Order in the midst of multiple national crises – further undermines public participation in the policymaking process and can only be viewed as an intentional act to prevent public input into this drastic and hasty decision.”

A copy of the letter is available here.

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