Anticipated Trump Executive Order Places Infrastructure in Flood’s Way

Statement by Rachel Cleetus, Climate Policy Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Aug 15, 2017

WASHINGTON (August 15, 2017)—President Trump is expected to issue an executive order today that places federal investments in infrastructure projects more at risk from flooding. The executive order, purportedly aimed at speeding up infrastructure development, would roll back the federal flood risk management standard. The standard was recently updated for the first time in more than 37 years, and sought to ensure that federal agencies used protective design standards to guard against increased flood risks when constructing in flood-prone areas. 

Below is a statement by Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and climate policy manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

“By rolling back the updated federal flood risk management standard, the Trump administration would be putting vital infrastructure that communities around the country depend on in harm’s way. This executive order will raise the risk of costly and harmful damages from floods. Additionally, taxpayer dollars will likely be wasted through investments in projects that could be washed away in the next storm. 

“Federal agencies are already in the process of determining how to implement the updated standards. They were informed by robust stakeholder input and established to protect critical infrastructure that communities depend on for years to come.  

“With sea level rise and heavy rainfall contributing to growing flood risks in countless areas across the nation, it makes no sense to turn back progress on greater flood protections.”