Policy changes to NEPA could have major impact on Savannah Ports

POTUS plans to announce policy changes to NEPA Wednesday in Atlanta

Policy changes to NEPA could have major impact on Savannah Ports

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Wednesday, President Donald Trump will be making a stop in Atlanta to discuss, among other things, a policy change to the National Environmental Policy Act.

A change the Trump Administration believes will be good news for the Ports in Savannah. Putting it simply.

“This is very good news for Savannah,” says U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

According to Trump Administration, a policy change to the National Environmental Policy Act will help reduce an overly complex permitting process.

“The permitting process for any new construction, major new construction, can take seven years. That’s just the permitting process alone,” said Secretary Chao.

They plan to do that by improving coordination between government agencies, reducing paperwork, expanding public participation and setting time limits.

“These new changes are going to expedite the environmental reviews of the I-75 commercial vehicle lane project in Atlanta, with direct benefits for Savannah, Georgia as well,” Secretary Chao says.

So, what exactly will this project accomplish?

“Speeding up and accommodating increased freight flow and reducing congestion and delays,” says Sec. Chao.

Which is good for the Savannah Ports because?

“That will make it so much easier for the Port of Savannah to be able to expand, to offer new jobs, to create economic activity and expansion. So, this is a win-win-win for this whole Savannah area,” Secretary Chao says.

Those opposed to the policy change claim that speeding up the environmental review process will put the environment itself at risk.

But according to Secretary Chao, they aren’t trying to limit the reviews but simply get all the governmental agencies on the same page so the permitting process doesn’t take as long.

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