President Biden signs law to make technology-related projects eligible for FAST-41 permitting process transparency and management
Permitting Council Press Office (Media@fpisc.gov)
WASHINGTON (August 18, 2022)- Yesterday, President Biden signed into law S.3451, adding six technology-related infrastructure sectors to FAST-41, which allows projects in those sectors to obtain permitting timetable transparency and management benefits of the FAST-41 program.
Authored by Senator Hagerty and co-sponsored by Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Rob Portman (R-OH), S.3451 adds the following infrastructure sectors to the list of FAST-41 sectors, which includes renewable and conventional energy production, electricity transmission, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource projects, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, carbon capture, and mining:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- High-performance computing and advanced computer hardware and software
- Quantum information science and technology
- Data storage and data management
“Congressional increase in resources and sectors for the FAST-41 program only underscores the importance of our work,” says Christine Harada, Executive Director of the Permitting Council, which administers FAST-41. “The addition of these critical technology sectors will help spur production of semiconductor factories, advanced technologies, and research facilities across the country which will, in turn, open new doors for breakthroughs in emerging fields like quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Our role is truly foundational to the once-in-a-generation investment in our Nation’s infrastructure.”
S. 3451 comes only days after another landmark investment in FAST-41 and the Permitting Council. The Inflation Reduction Act, infuses $350 million into the Permitting Council to advance infrastructure permitting efficiency and predictability, and further the Administration’s goal of combating climate change. There are currently 24 FAST-41 projects under the purview of the Permitting Council. That number is expected to rise with the addition of six new sectors and significant increases in funding.
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 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 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, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, mining, and carbon capture sectors.