Senate Bill Proposes to Exempt Rural Projects from Environmental Review

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Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), David Perdue (R-GA), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R.-MS) have introduced The Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act of 2019 (S 2430), to remove burdensome regulations in rural areas to allow more flexibility to implement efficient infrastructure projects. The bill seeks to increase rural community access to better economic opportunities and infrastructure projects by removing the Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act requirements from federally funded projects or activities in areas not a part of a metropolitan statistical area as designated by the Office of Management and Budget. According to Senator Blackburn, “Tennessee’s rural communities are the heart of our state’s agriculture businesses. We should not have laws in place that hinder, rather than help, economic development in these areas.” The bill has been referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

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