"The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled significant changes to the nation’s landmark environmental law that would make it easier for federal agencies to approve infrastructure projects without considering climate change," Emma Newburger reports for CNBC. The administration has argued that the overhaul is necessary to help businesses grow and protect jobs.

Under the White House Council on Environmental Quality's proposed changes to the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act, construction projects that don't have major government funding would no longer require any kind of federal environmental review. The category of NEPA-exempt projects would also be expanded, Newburger reports.

Response to the proposal was sharply divided. Business groups lauded it because they say the law has delayed or blocked projects like oil pipelines, dams, mines, and more. Environmentalists said the changes would hurt wildlife and put more greenhouse gases into the air, Newburger reports. 

"The move is the latest effort by the Trump administration to roll back a slew of environmental regulations in place to curb greenhouse gas emissions and protect natural habitats from drilling and development," Newburger reports. "The changes are expected to be published in the Federal Register on Friday. There will be a 60-day comment period and two open hearings before the final regulation is delivered." If approved, the proposed changes would be the first major overhaul to the rules in more than 40 years. Lawsuits are expected.