White House and agencies look to streamline infrastructure permits
Twelve federal agencies agreed to limit National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews to two years and assign a specific agency to lead the review. The move furthers part of the Trump administration’s infrastructure proposal to streamline permits.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Army Corps of Engineers and the Departments of the Interior and Transportation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on April 9, 2018 along with eight other agencies. In the MOU, they agreed to concurrent review for NEPA permits that require input from several agencies. According to the EPA, agencies use the NEPA process to evaluate environmental, social and economic effects of proposed federal actions. Agencies have their own NEPA processes which can cause confusion and delays for permit approval.
“Years-long delays in permitting infrastructure projects are often due to conflicting actions and orders by more than one federal agency. We are pleased that these agencies have agreed to streamline the permit approval process to allow this country to rebuild our infrastructure in a more timely manner,” said Laura O’Neill-Kaumo, NSSGA senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs.