Federal agencies sign agreement to streamline infrastructure permitting

From Transport Topics.

A dozen federal agencies have pledged to streamline environmental permitting for major infrastructure projects, a priority President Donald Trump has pursued since he took office.

The leaders of agencies such as the departments of Transportation, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Homeland Security, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers, signed the memorandum of understanding April 9. It went into effect the following day.

The agreement implements an executive order Trump signed last year seeking to reduce the federal permitting time for major projects to two years.

“To help achieve this goal, agencies commit to cooperate, communicate, share information and resolve conflicts that could prevent meeting milestones,” according to the memorandum the agencies signed. “Lead and cooperating agencies will be determined as soon as practical.”

Specifically, under the agreement an agency would develop environmental impact statements with the goal of completing such reviews within two years. Accordingly, the single agency would assign a “management official to lead the environmental review process and identifying a primary federal point of contact at each cooperating or participating agency for the project.”

Read the full story online at Transport Topics.