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Permitting Council Report Showcases Continued Federal Agency Progress on Environmental Reviews and Authorizations for Infrastructure Projects

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Permitting Council Press Office (

WASHINGTON (July 3, 2024) – The Permitting Council Executive Director has released the fiscal year 2024 second quarter report to Congress, evaluating federal agency compliance with FAST-41 requirements. The report highlights a period of sustained progress for agencies, including approval of the latest FAST-41 covered project and the addition of two new projects to the program. 

“I could not be more pleased with the work showcased in this report, as it highlights the significant steps the Council has taken to improve the federal environmental review and authorization process since the start of this quarter,” said Eric Beightel, Permitting Council Executive Director. “From our one-on-one coordination with federal agencies to our dedicated collaboration with project sponsors, our efforts to modernize federal environmental reviews are bearing fruit and I look forward to building on this progress as we continue to support delivery of critical infrastructure.” 

During the second quarter of 2024 there were 29 FAST-41 covered projects, with the majority in renewable energy-related sectors. The Empire Wind Energy project completed environmental review and authorization during the quarter, and is expected to generate 2.1 GW of renewable energy and potentially power over 700,000 New York homes. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) led project plays a significant role in supporting the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030. Other report highlights include:

  • New FAST-41 Projects: Two new projects joined the FAST-41 covered project portfolio, including the Grain Belt Express Transmission - Phase 1, an electricity transmission project, and Silver Star Solar, a renewable energy production project.    
    • Grain Belt Express Transmission- Phase 1: Phase one of the Grain Belt Express project is a bi-directional high-voltage direct current transmission line spanning approximately 542 miles across Kansas and Missouri. If permitted, this $2 billion electricity transmission project could play a transformational role in helping states and utilities in the Midwest shift from fossil fuel generation.
    • Silver Star Solar 1: The Silver Star Solar 1 project is a 650 megawatt (MW) alternating current solar photovoltaic power generating facility with a 650 MW battery energy storage system. If permitted, this $1 billion solar power and battery storage system project could bring clean, renewable energy to residents in the western United States. 
  • Agency FAST-41 Compliance: The report showcases continued improvement from federal agencies in meeting requirements for reviewing and updating coordinated project plans and meeting project permitting timetable completion dates, in addition to adherence to meeting permitting timetable modification requirements.
  • Agency Assistance: As part of the Permitting Council’s role as a federal center for permitting excellence, the Executive Director assisted BOEM with development of an online template tool to assist in coordinating agencies when working through permitting timetable milestone shifts.  

The quarterly report is now available on the Federal Permitting Dashboard.

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 3, 2024