backhoe working

The Biden Administration said earlier this month officials will adjust the federal review process for environmental permits to get infrastructure construction started faster.  It's all part of a permitting action plan that lays out priorities and directives.

For years contractors have complained the process is a painfully long one and that something needed to be done to get the construction ball rolling on projects.

The goal is to speed the process up without compromising environmental concerns.

The new permit plan will use a permitting council created in the infrastructure act, which brings relevant federal agencies together to improve the environmental review process. The seven-page plan has five key elements:
  • Consolidate decision-making among federal agencies to reduce the number of permits a project would need. The White House also plans to set up sector-specific teams to coordinate and streamline permit applications from various industries.
  • Establish timeline goals and track project information.
  • Engage in “early and meaningful outreach” with states, tribes and local governments to gain input on area projects from their inception.
  • Improve technical assistance and support for project partners.
  • Leverage existing agency resources to prioritize permitting review.

White House officials say, if implemented, the plan “will result in better permitting outcomes, enhanced predictability for project sponsors and increased accountability across federal agencies to execute efficiently and effectively."

In April President Joe Biden restored key regulations in the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires review of federal projects to assess potential impacts on climate change. Former president Donald Trump eased up on regulations in an effort to speed up construction, but Biden restored those restrictions.