The Trump administration on Thursday proposed rolling back environmental rules to speed the approval process for large infrastructure projects.
The plan to curb federal review of projects' environmental impacts could result in local communities having less control over development decisions on things like highways, pipelines or mining. The overhaul is likely to face legal challenges, with critics arguing it would speed up climate change.
It's a rollback of parts of the landmark National Environmental Policy Act, which was signed by President Nixon in 1970. Industry groups have pushed against those regulations, saying they slow down projects. In November, 34 industry groups sent a letter to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, asking it to "modernize the NEPA processes."
President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that the change will give the U.S. a competitive advantage.
He said, "The United States will not be able to compete and prosper in the 21st century if we continue to allow a broken and outdated bureaucratic system, hold us back from building what we need. The roads, the airports, the schools, everything. Right now, it takes over seven years and often times much longer and seven years is like record time, to complete approvals for a simple highway, the simplest of them. With today's proposed reforms, we will reduce that number by more than 70 percent."
The Trump administration peeled away environmental regulations before, but this would be the most significant rollback yet.
The rule enters the federal register Friday and will be open for a 60-day comment period.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.