October 18, 2017

Front Line: A Federal Attempt to Streamline the Permitting Process

From: Area Development

With the realization that major infrastructure projects are critical to economic development, the federal government is attempting to streamline the environmental permitting process.

Tom Ewing, Staff Editor, Area Development


In August, the President moved directly on streamlining, issuing Executive Order (EO) 13807 — “Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects.” The focus is on major infrastructure, i.e., projects reviewed by multiple agencies, requiring an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).


Accountability: Going forward, personnel and agency performance plans must include “performance goals related to the completion of environmental reviews and authorizations.” Agencies must track their work within a permitting timetable that includes an alert mechanism if deadlines are missed. OMB will review agency performance and determine penalties, if necessary.

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