This week the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council) held a special meeting of its members to discuss the next steps in achieving the ambitious goals outlined in the recently released Biden-Harris Permitting Action Plan. Permitting Council Executive Director Christine Harada, White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory, and Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Jason Miller gathered with Deputy Secretaries representing the 13 agencies on the Council to outline a plan forward.
The Permitting Action Plan is a roadmap to assist agencies in strengthening and accelerating the Federal permitting and environmental review process. Key to the plan is ensuring that the Federal environmental reviews and permitting processes are effective, efficient, and transparent. The White House has directed Federal agencies to leverage the Permitting Council and its expanded authorities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to improve coordination among agencies, to help avoid and resolve potential conflicts and bottlenecks before they emerge, to identify and share best practices, and to accelerate information sharing and trouble shooting.
Together, OMB, CEQ, the Permitting Council and Agency leadership discussed next steps as they work to fulfill the ambitious requirements of the Action Plan. All agencies with environmental review and permitting responsibilities have 90 days from the release of the Action Plan to submit initial plans for implementation.
The Permitting Action Plan is key to accomplishing the goals of the landmark BIL, and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu highlighted the tremendous work accomplished by the Administration in the first six months since the signing of the legislation. Those successes include over $110 billion invested to rebuild roads and bridges, modernize ports and airports, replace lead pipes to deliver clean water, and expand high-speed internet. This includes funding for over 4,300 specific projects, touching over 3,200 communities across all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Additionally, nearly $100 billion in requests for information and notices of funding availability have been released.
For more on the Biden-Harris Permitting Action Plan, visit: WhiteHouse.gov.
About the Permitting Council
Established in 2015 by Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41), the Permitting Council is a unique Federal agency charged with improving the transparency, predictability, and outcomes 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 Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.