By Cheryl Bolen
The Business Roundtable has sent a letter to the White House in support of President Donald Trump’s order to speed permitting of infrastructure projects, saying the mechanisms to do this are already in law but languishing.
In December 2015, provisions to streamline environmental reviews and permitting of major construction projects were included in the final conference report to highway funding legislation (Pub. L. No. 114-94).
Among other actions, Title 41 of Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act established a council charged with streamlining the environmental review process for “covered projects,” largely those of more than $200 million.
“Unfortunately, when the prior administration left office, FAST-41 had yet to be fully implemented,” said the April 6 letter from Mark Costa, chairman of a Business Roundtable committee, to Gary Cohn, assistant to the president for economic policy. Costa is chairman and CEO of Eastman Chemical Co.
By establishing firm deadlines, requiring concurrent rather than sequential reviews and better coordinating federal and state reviews, permitting times should be shortened, according to a copy of the letter provided to Bloomberg BNA.
Also, providing more transparency into the status of major permits would be helpful in establishing greater accountability, the letter said.
“Importantly, new legislation is not needed to accomplish these reforms. The legal framework already is in place to accomplish them with strong leadership,” it said.
The Business Roundtable offered several recommendations that the administration could take to aggressively implement the provisions of FAST-41, including fully funding and staffing the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC).
The president should expeditiously appoint an executive director of the FPISC, who should be directly responsible to the White House, the letter said. The director should be tasked with updating the president and Cabinet regularly on the status of major projects.
Also, the Office of Management and Budget and the Council on Environmental Quality jointly could issue guidance to explicitly link the executive order signed by the president in January with the FAST Act, with the goal of expediting both surface transportation and water projects, the letter said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Cheryl Bolen in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)