George W. Bush has issued an executive order to streamline the
environmental review process for building new roads in an effort
to jump-start lagging highway projects. The order comes at a time
when many states are cutting back on highway projects due to a
lack of funding.
order calls for a Cabinet-level task force reporting to the president
through the chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality to
ensure that environmentally-sound projects are not held up unnecessarily
by inefficient review procedures.
Secretary Norman Mineta said too many road projects are delayed
by a "complex and often duplicative" environmental permit
initiative is intended to make our transportation investments
more efficient, helping to ease congestion and reduce pollution,"
also forms an interagency Transportation Infrastructure Streamlining
Task Force, with Mineta as chairman, to streamline environmental
reviews of specific, high-impact airport, highway, transit and