February 13, 2018

Trump infrastructure plan streamlines pipeline approvals, curbs environmental concerns

(Wikimedia Commons/Nayu Kim)
(Wikimedia Commons/Nayu Kim)

The plan, released 12 February, gives the Secretary of the Interior more approval power and outlines timeframes for approvals by agencies.

The plan would significantly reduce the amount of environmental regulations for new projects and affect pipeline approvals across the US, including in places where new oil and gas infrastructure faces severe opposition. It also gives power to the Secretary of the Interior to approve pipelines that cross national parks. Currently, congress has to approve projects that cross public land; the plan cites increased certainty as the reason for the new power. This move comes after the administration opened up federal land to increase oil and gas drilling.

The plan mirrors Canada’s recent pipeline approval reform, which was introduced last week and included a ‘one project, one approval’ policy. The President’s plan outlines a ‘one agency, one decision’ environmental review process to cut down on the number of agencies involved in reviews and speed up approval.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law that currently determines how environmental reviews are conducted, only encourages federal agencies to coordinate assessments to avoid duplication of work. The new plan would require them to do so and comes as part of the President’s effort to speed up infrastructure development, especially to exploit fossil fuel resources.

The proposal also establishes a twenty one month time limit for agencies to complete their reviews. This is compared to Canada’s 600 day, or twenty month limit. Following this, agencies would have 3 months to approve applications. Canada’s proposed approval limit is 90 days.

‘[A]ppropriate enforcement mechanisms’ would be used to enforce deadlines under the plan.

NEPA requires that alternatives to proposed infrastructure be explored and even if the infrastructure is needed. Instead, in the new plan agencies would not be required “to consider alternatives that are outside its authority or outside the capability of the applicant”.

Regulations under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act as well as NEPA would also be streamlined, which the administration says is another way to reduce duplication of rules.

In a ‘factsheet’ outlining the rationale for the plan, the Trump administration emphasised the role of local and state authorities in future infrastructure projects, rather than federal involvement. The private sector will also have an increased role, the White House citing its ‘better procurement methods, market discipline, and a long-term focus on maintaining assets.’ According to the document President Trump is aiming for $1 trillion dollars (€809 million) in infrastructure investment. Trump’s budget (also published on 12 February) includes $200 billion (€161.8 billion) in infrastructure spending.

(Wikimedia Commons/Nayu Kim)






February 16, 2018
Construction for about half of the pipeline has now been approved. Canadian pipelines have been increasingly contested, both between companies and the public and between regional governments. The proposed... [Read More]

February 15, 2018
The company, Runtech Systems Oy, specialises in turbo vacuum technology systems and optimisation solutions across a range of process-orientated markets. Local press is reporting that the transaction totalled... [Read More]

February 14, 2018
To celebrate its 99th birthday, Tomlinson Hall is to give £99 for old pumps, and give the money from scrapping them to the RNLI. Tomlinson Hall hopes the scheme will save end users money by encouraging... [Read More]

February 14, 2018
The new version of the flowmeter is made to give accurate flow measurement of fluids from -10 to +110 degrees Celsius. The company used their PEEK pipe connections for the meter and gives the option form... [Read More]

February 14, 2018
12 February the Commerce Department opened cases into alleged dumping of welded pipes from Canada, China, India, Korea, Turkey and Greece. The investigation came on the same day President Trump said that... [Read More]

February 13, 2018
The plan, released 12 February, gives the Secretary of the Interior more approval power and outlines timeframes for approvals by agencies. The plan would significantly reduce the amount of environmental... [Read More]

February 13, 2018
The valve and actuator specialist said that the new facility comes as part of an effort to consolidate growth in the UK by expanding its actuated valve workshop and warehouse facilities. The 360m2 building,... [Read More]

February 13, 2018
Federal regulators have posted a corrective action order following cracks in two of the five storage tanks of Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Such orders... [Read More]

February 12, 2018
United Utilities, a water company in North West England, is using a cocker spaniel to detect leaks by smelling the small amounts of chlorine in mains water. The dog is still in its trial phase. The utility... [Read More]

February 9, 2018
The bill aims to reform a process that has become stuck due to complex approval routes and polarised interests. The Canadian oil and gas industry has been stunted recently by a lack of infrastructure... [Read More]

February 9, 2018
The CIRCOR subsidiary says that the pumps optimise unloading and transfer of product in refinery and tank terminal operations. The series is API 676-3rd compliant and suited for application in the oil... [Read More]

February 8, 2018
A report from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has found that the oil and gas industry has seen some improvement after pressure from investors, but are not doing enough to keep up with demands for... [Read More]

February 8, 2018
The shutdown is the second since December, when a piece of granite caused a hairline crack. The company put a statement out 7 February saying that a feed control valve had closed at its Kineil terminal... [Read More]

February 7, 2018
The company expects the acquisition to complement their current business in the systems, service and process sectors. FPE Global, a company that manufactured processing technologies and industrial mixing... [Read More]

February 7, 2018
By using datasets that are made using a diverse range of sources, researchers say that the debate over water quality and shale drilling can become more constructive. The Shale Network, a group of researchers... [Read More]