August 15, 2017
Contact: Meghan Boian, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC – President Trump signed an Executive Order today that undermines crucial environmental reviews and wastes taxpayer dollars by directing federal agencies to ignore flood risks in making federal expenditures on infrastructure.
“Today, President Trump ordered even more rollbacks of environmental safeguards in what has quickly become the most anti-environment administration in U.S. history,” said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers. “After more than 200 days in office, the President has failed to even propose a comprehensive infrastructure plan to Congress and the American people. Instead, today’s action is another transparent attempt to undermine the laws that protect the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the lands and wildlife we treasure.”
The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) provides a greater margin of safety for federally funded infrastructure so that it may withstand larger floods. It is a common-sense approach that many states and municipalities already take. By providing a greater margin of safety the FFRMS keeps infrastructure and communities safe. It also helps to protect floodplains which are an important part of a healthy river ecosystem.
Today’s order ignores the benefits healthy rivers and their floodplains provide to our communities and economy and slashes safeguards for clean water. It provides no investment in water infrastructure and unnecessarily endangers our waters instead.
Federal investment in water infrastructure is sorely needed, particularly investment in natural infrastructure such as floodplain restoration as well as green infrastructure such as rain gardens and green roofs that clean polluted runoff before it reaches streams. In addressing water infrastructure needs, environmental protections provided by laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act are essential. These laws enable us to critically examine and mitigate any harmful impacts of project construction and development and provide the most environmentally-sustainable, long-term solution for our needs.
“President Trump has decided to endanger our rivers and clean water under the guise of infrastructure improvements, yet he has failed to provide our country with an infrastructure plan. Rolling back environmental safeguards is not an infrastructure plan. Our nation deserves a real plan with real investment, and strong environmental safeguards, in order to address our serious infrastructure needs,” said Irvin.
ABOUT AMERICAN RIVERS
American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 275,000 members, supporters and volunteers.