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President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump is reportedly planning to announce an overhaul to a law on Wednesday that could prevent low-income and minority communities from voicing concerns about projects that could pollute their neighborhoods, The Washington Post writes.

Why it matters: Trump is expected to argue that the National Environmental Policy Act, signed into law by President Nixon in 1970, would create jobs by making it easier for his administration to build infrastructure including highways, pipelines and chemical plants. The Post notes that such projects pose major environmental threats.

  • Changes to the law are likely to restrict the extent to which these communities can evaluate, delay or stop a project based on its climate impact.
  • Trump plans to announce the changes to NEPA as part of broader effort to jumpstart the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Black Americans are 75% more likely to live in neighborhoods next to sources of pollution than non-Hispanic white Americans, which in turn effects their risk for diabetes, asthma and hypertension, according to Stanford University.

What we're watching: Criticism does persist across the board suggesting that sometimes NEPA reviews go on for too long, Axios' Amy Harder notes. Expect this argument to become more heated if Joe Biden wins the presidential election. He pledged Tuesday to build trillions of dollars worth of new clean-energy infrastructure, much that would need to undergo NEPA reviews.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Aug 22, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Reports: Trump officials to hit brakes on controversial Alaskan mine

The Pile River flows into Alaska's Lake Iliamna. The lake and its tributaries are the headwaters of the Bristol Bay region. Photo: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Trump administration will place new hurdles in front of plans to build a large gold and copper mine in a sensitive Alaskan ecosystem, and may block the project outright, according to reports Saturday.

Driving the news: The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal report the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will say Monday that the Pebble Mine would cause "significant degradation."

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1pm the day after the article is transmitted.

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