The Permitting Dashboard is an online tool for Federal agencies, project developers and interested members of the public to track the Federal government’s permitting and review process for large or complex infrastructure projects. The Permitting Dashboard is one element of a larger, government-wide effort to streamline the Federal permitting and review process while increasing transparency, in addition to improving environmental and community outcomes.
Public reporting of project review timelines and environmental outcomes
Starting in January 2016, agencies are required to report performance schedules for all new infrastructure projects that meet certain criteria of size and complexity, using a standardized set of milestones. For any of those tracked projects that commence the formal Federal review process after October 12, 2015 and complete the process after June 1, 2016, the agencies are also required to post a description of improved environmental and community outcomes that resulted from the permitting and review processes.
Benefits of the Dashboard
Reporting project review timeline data on a common, government-wide platform for all projects that meet the threshold criteria will provide a number of key benefits:
- The Dashboard will significantly increase the transparency of the permitting and review process to the public, allowing interested parties to receive notice of upcoming projects and track progress on projects throughout their review, as well as to analyze past project reviews.
- It will help to shorten review timelines by encouraging early coordination and synchronization of agency review schedules.
- It will provide consistent data that Federal agencies can use to analyze permit and review practices and identify ways to further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of these processes.
- It will help to assess the progress of the reforms included in the Administration’s Implementation Plan, as well as related legislation, and to identify common external drivers and trends that influence project review processes.
- Finally, tracking improved environmental and community outcomes will help to document the important role that permitting and review processes play in safeguarding these resources.
Safeguarding natural and cultural resources and protecting our public and national interests
Through laws passed by Congress and regulations issued by Federal agencies, the Federal government requires proposed infrastructure projects to obtain various permits and environmental reviews to ensure that they are designed and constructed in a manner that protects public health, safety, cultural resources, and the environment, and that the public is informed about their potential impacts. Federal permits and reviews safeguard such irreplaceable resources as historic properties, Native American cultural sites, endangered species, and clean water, and ensure that projects do not interfere with national defense activities, air or water vessel navigation, or international relations objectives. (For a complete list of relevant permits and reviews, see the Federal Permit and Review Inventory.)
Making reviews more efficient while improving environmental and community outcomes
Although the vast majority of permit decisions and project reviews are completed within just a few months, sometimes for projects that are particularly large and complex or that have significant environmental impacts, the permitting and review process becomes as lengthy as several years. An interagency team is working to move our nation’s infrastructure projects through necessary environmental review and permitting processes as efficiently as possible in order to more quickly realize the benefits of these infrastructure investments – benefits such as reduced traffic, increased access to renewable energy, construction jobs, and increased economic activity – while simultaneously improving the government’s ability to use existing reviews to produce the best results for our environmental and community resources – such as increasing the use of landscape-level conservation of species, habitats and watersheds. In short, the goal of this effort is to make the government’s review of infrastructure projects both faster, and better at preserving environmental and community resources.
Your role in improving the Permitting Dashboard
The Administration welcomes your feedback on ways this site can be improved. We welcome input on additional features, functionality, and content that would be helpful on the Dashboard. Please use the Department of Transportation’s Permitting Dashboard Idea Forum page or email PermittingDashboardFeedback@dot.gov to share your ideas with us.