Moving Forward Network Responds to Dangerous Implication of President’s SOTU Remarks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       CONTACT:  Ira Arlook, Fenton,
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018                                                          c: 202-258-5437,  ira@fenton.com
 
 
Moving Forward Network Responds to Dangerous Implication of President’s SOTU Remarks…
National Coalition Calls Out Trump’s Deception on Infrastructure Plan: “Streamline” = Removal of Public Health/Environmental Protections
 
Record Shows Clean Air Act & Related Safeguards
Make for Better Projects and Save Taxpayer Dollars
 
U.S. Treasury & Congressional Research Service Say “Lack of Funds” is Major Cause of Delay in Infrastructure Projects NOT Enviro Safeguards
 
Calling President Trump’s SOTU comments deceptive and wholly inaccurate about the need to violate public health and environmental regulations in order to “streamline” his infrastructure plan, a broad coalition of public health and environmental organizations, led by the Moving Forward Network, pledge to oppose efforts to sidestep those protections should they be part of a White House proposal to Congress.
 
Most of the important and common delays in completing major infrastructure projects are “lack of funds,” followed by lack of consensus when multiple public and private entities and jurisdictions are involved, and finally, capital costs increasing faster than inflation, say two studies, one by the US Treasury Department (2016) and one by the Congressional Research Service (CRS, 2011), https://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Documents/final-infrastructure-report.pdf
 
According to the CRS, “[T]here is little data available to demonstrate that NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] currently plays a significant role in delaying federal actions” and “factors outside the NEPA process were identified as the cause of delay between 68% and 84% of the time.” CRS, The National Environmental Policy Act: Background and Implementation 28, 30 (Feb. 29, 2008), available at http://www.cnie.org/NLE/CRSreports/08Mar/RL33152.pdf.
 
The most recent detailed refutation of false claims about delays due to environmental reviews can be found at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2017/05/03/431651/debunking-false-claims-environmental-review-opponents/
  
President Trump appears to be ignorant of the major actual causes of delays in infrastructure projects given his commitment of only $200 billion federal dollars to his projected program budget of $ 1 trillion. 
“Environmental Justice communities are ground zero for infrastructure needs and often host to poorly designed projects that bring more pollution to our neighborhoods.  We need a seat at the table and an inclusive process to protect our communities from the adverse health impacts of these projects, as well as ensure more zero emission strategies and infrastructure are brought to cities like Newark that need cleaner air, green jobs and healthier tomorrow ,“ stated Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Organizer, Clean Water Action and Moving Forward Network New York/New Jersey Regional Representative.
 
“The President’s proposed shortcuts are a direct assault on public health, and community engagement in federal decision-making. We all lose under Trump’s infrastructure scheme; but some worse than others,” said Melissa Lin Perrella, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Senior Director for Environmental Justice.
 
The Moving Forward Network is a national coalition of community-based organizations, advocates, scientists, researchers, faith-based organizations, and others committed to reducing the public health harms our country’s freight transportation system creates. The Network is comprised of over 50 organizations and academics across the country where large ports, rail yards and other freight corridors reside.
1. Air Alliance Houston 2. Backbone Campaign 3. Bay Area Healthy 880 Communities 4. California Cleaner Freight Coalition 5. Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice 6. Central California Environmental Justice Network 7. Central Valley Air Quality Coalition 8. Charleston Community Research to Action Board/Low Country Alliance for Model Communities 9. Citizens for a Sustainable Future 10. Clean Air Council 11. Clean Water Action, Clean Water Fund 12. Coalition for a Safe Environment 13. Coalition for Healthy Ports (NY/NJ) 14. Comite Civico Del Valle 15. Diesel Health Project 16. Earthjustice 17. East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice 18. Eastern Environmental Law Center 19. End Oil 20. Environmental Health Coalition 21. Global Community Monitor 22. Green Latinos 23. Harambee House, Inc. 24. Ironbound Community Corporation 25. J Gordon Community Development Corp 26. Little Village Environmental Justice Organization 27. Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma 28. National Nurses United 29. Natural Resources Defense Council 30. New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance 31. Puget Sound Sage 32. Regional Asthma Management and Prevention 33. Respiratory Health Association 34. Southeast CARE Coalition 35. Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision 36. Steps Coalition 37. Sunflower Alliance 38. Sustainability Action Network 39. Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services 40. The New School 41. THE Impact Project 42. Union of Concerned Scientists 43. Southern California Environmental Health Centers based at USC 44. Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College 45. West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project​