Meanwhile, things aren’t looking so hot for air-pollution regulation on the federal level, either. Republicans in the Senate are drawing up a transportation bill that enviros say could water down the efficacy of the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Provisions in a draft legislation would allow states to postpone or avoid complying with air-pollution laws when planning new transportation projects. The bill could also weaken the role of environmental authorities in determining the likely impact of federally funded projects on communities, waterways, wildlife habitat, and other natural resources, and would allow states far greater leeway in making decisions about whether new projects such as roads could cross wildlife refuges, parks, or historical sites. Enviros say Republicans have attached these changes to the transportation bill because it is historically a “must-pass” bill in Congress, as it contains funding for communities all around the U.S.
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