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NAR Backs White House Move to Change Environmental Policy

National policy oversees U.S. environmental permits, and NAR praised a move to ease restrictions on infrastructure projects, calling it a “win for real estate.”

WASHINGTON – For the first time in more than 40 years, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will be updated and modernized – a win for real estate, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

The change is an attempt to accelerate NEPA environmental reviews and ensure that the U.S. can complete infrastructure projects more efficiently and affordably.

President Donald Trump and the Council on Environmental Quality announced a final rule last week. NEPA laws have often been blamed for blocking and delaying infrastructure projects, and NAR hopes the new regulations help simplify and accelerate the environmental review process for projects, including the nation’s roads and bridges.

“While uncertainty will continue to define the coming months, any action policymakers can take to inject some stability and confidence into our markets is welcomed with open arms by America’s 1.4 million Realtors,” says Vince Malta, NAR’s president. “Since NEPA was last updated four decades ago, the real estate industry has seen countless infrastructure modernization projects paralyzed by arbitrary delays and unreasonable cost increases – barriers which today are felt more heavily because of the COVID-19 pandemic. … NAR applauds the White House’s continued efforts to balance much-needed environmental protections with economic development in America.”

NAR also commended the Trump administration for its commitment to other deregulation reforms, including its work to eliminate barriers to affordable housing.

“With our nation’s economy absorbing a shock unlike any felt in nearly a century … Realtors applaud a comprehensive review of all federal regulations that could further inhibit job creation and prosperity,” Malta says. “As housing affordability continues to plague U.S. markets in spite of economic turmoil, NAR remains supportive of reforms that will eliminate unnecessary regulations, ease inventory constraints and help more people achieve the American dream of homeownership.”

The White House says that 16 pieces of deregulation legislation would soon be signed by Trump.

Source: National Association of Realtors®

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