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New executive order changes infrastructure rules - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

New executive order changes infrastructure rules

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President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order that would lessen the restrictions on environmental permits when it comes to infrastructure.

But some environmentalists in Louisiana say this order will do more harm than good.

With the new executive order in place, there are fewer rules in place regarding environmental permits for infrastructure projects. But there are still rules in place.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says he thinks the order will help the state of Louisiana.

"This environmental process protects us from making permanent damage to the infrastructure, to the environment and to the citizens in general," Wilson said.

With many infrastructure plans in place across the state, even with the new order, there are still bigger hurdles to jump.

"We still have the challenges of how do you fund infrastructure, and how do you get it built?" Wilson says.

"We do not have the capacity or the financial means to fund these projects," he added.

 But one Acadiana environmentalist, Harold Schoeffler, says the order is no different than what was already in place. 

"There have been very poor or no environmental regulations, so to say we are going to lessen, what is already  nothing... Is very meaningless," Schoeffler said. 

He even says the plans in place to extend I-49 to New Orleans would be detrimental.

"I think its very important that projects are built that protect the environment, and protects our air, our water quality and all of those issues," Schoeffler says.

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