ATLANTA (WSAV) – President Donald Trump traveled to Atlanta Wednesday to discuss a plan that will speed up infrastructure projects across the country, including the expansion of a busy Georgia interstate.
The president said changes will be made to the National Environmental Policy Act’s regulations for conducting environmental reviews.
“We won’t get certain projects through for environmental reasons, they have to be environmentally sound, but you know what?” Trump said, “We’re gonna know in a year, we’re gonna know in a year and a half we’re not gonna know in 20 years.”
The new rules will expedite environmental review processes to build roads, bridges and highways.
The White House says the final rule will promote the rebuilding of America. Critics call the Republican president’s efforts a cynical attempt to limit the public’s ability to review, comment on and influence proposed projects under one of the country’s bedrock environmental protection laws
In Georgia, the plan will help expand I-75, which connects Chattanooga, Atlanta, Macon and Valdosta. One project from Atlanta to Macon will make it easier to coordinate commercial freight transportation and reduce traffic delays by 40-percent by 2030.
“It’s very important to me and all my fellow UPS-ers because the investment in our roads and bridges have reduced congestion and opened up the bottlenecks which makes it easier to get the packages to where they need to go,” said Julian Polk, a UPS employee, during the president’s visit.
Another proposal would improve freight mobility from the Port of Savannah to Florida and promote economic development in the state.
“I’m proud to report that for three straight years under my administration, we’ve delivered full funding for the Port of Savannah, and we’re on track to complete the project in a short period of time,” Trump said.
The new move would reduce the amount of time to allow a highway project like the I-75 expansion from 7 years to 2 years.
Watch more of Trump’s remarks in Atlanta:
The Associated Press contributed to this report