President Trump has issued an executive order directing government agencies to accelerate infrastructure investments and exercise legal authorities to “respond to the full dimensions" of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact to the U.S. economy.
The White House on Thursday published the EO mandating agencies and executive departments to use their authorities to return Americans to work while providing “appropriate protection” for public health, natural resources and the environment.
Under the directive, the secretary of transportation must exercise emergency authorities and submit a progress report on expedited projects to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and assistant to the president for economic policy.
The EO additionally directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to speed up work and completion of civil works projects. USACE may also launch projects in advance, according to the document.
Other directives include the acceleration of infrastructure, environmental and energy-related activities in federal lands under the oversight of the secretaries of defense, agriculture and interior.
“The need for continued progress in this streamlining effort is all the more acute now, due to the ongoing economic crisis,” the EO states. “Unnecessary regulatory delays will deny our citizens opportunities for jobs and economic security, keeping millions of Americans out of work and hindering our economic recovery from the national emergency.”