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Executive Director Eric Beightel Highlights Permitting Council’s Impact in Testimony Before Senate Committee

Director Beightel highlights the agency’s work to bring transparency, predictability and accountability to federal environmental review and authorizations

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WASHINGTON (July 10, 2024) – Today, Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council) Executive Director Eric Beightel testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Invited by the committee Chair and Ranking Members to testify on the Permitting Council’s impact, Director Beightel showcased the Permitting Council’s unique role in bringing innovative solutions and efficiency to the permitting process.

“I was honored to testify today because I am truly excited about the opportunity before us to make the federal permitting process more transparent, more predictable and ultimately more accountable,” said Eric Beightel, Permitting Council Executive Director. “I believe that the work we are doing provides project sponsors and the public with much needed certainty in the process and provides our federal partners with the tools they need to succeed. I look forward to the ongoing support of Senate leaders as we work together to deliver vital infrastructure for the good of the American people.”

Director Beightel testified on the continued growth and success of the Permitting Council’s FAST-41 permitting assistance program, highlighting recent successes including the completion of environmental review and authorizations for several FAST-41 covered projects and the allocation of millions in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding to support efficient reviews. Highlights of Director Beightel’s testimony include:

A recording of the hearing is available on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee website. To view the transcript from the testimony, please click here: Eric Beightel Testimony - Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental AffairsLearn more about the work of the Permitting Council at


About the Permitting Council and FAST-41

Established in 2015 by Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41) and made permanent in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Permitting Council is a unique federal agency charged with improving the transparency and predictability of the federal environmental review and authorization process for certain critical infrastructure projects. The Permitting Council is comprised of the Permitting Council Executive Director, who serves as the Council Chair; 13 federal agency Council members (including deputy secretary-level designees of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Army, Commerce, Interior, Energy, Transportation, Defense, Homeland Security, and Housing and Urban Development, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairs of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation); and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The Permitting Council coordinates federal environmental reviews and authorizations for projects that seek and qualify for FAST-41 coverage. FAST-41 covered projects are entitled to comprehensive permitting timetables and transparent, collaborative management of those timetables on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. FAST-41 covered projects may be in the renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, energy storage, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, mining, carbon capture, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing and advanced computer hardware and software, quantum information science and technology, data storage and data management, and cybersecurity sectors.

Last updated: Wednesday, July 10, 2024