Faster Permitting on the Horizon

EPA has joined with about a dozen Federal agencies and Departments in a pledge to accelerate permitting decisions.

The April 9 One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) “…streamlines the bureaucratic and burdensome environmental review and permitting process that serve as a barrier to major infrastructure projects. Under the MOU, a lead federal agency will be designated to guide each major infrastructure project through the environmental review and permitting process. It directs federal agencies to agree on a permitting timeline with the goal of completing the entire process within two years, to work together to conduct environmental review and authorization decisions concurrently, and to develop a single record of decision.” according to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s office.

The MOU supports the 2017 Executive Order (EO 13807) that called for enhanced cooperation and elimination of redundancy among Federal agencies in the decisionmaking process.  The goal is to streamline the permitting process, including environmental impact statements, to a maximum of two years.  This will require concurrent reviews by multiple agencies.  Among the other identified signatory agencies are Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Transportation, US Army Corps of Engineers, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Although a copy of the MOU is not available as of this writing, you may want to read the White House Fact Sheet and the EPA Administrator’s Press Release for more information.