We know infrastructure is a huge problem in America, but what now?
Infrastructure projects can’t get past the drawing board because no single person or office has the authority to say “Yes, let’s do it!” The only solution is to give designated officials the authority to make decisions and enforce deadlines. Give an environmental official the job of deciding when there’s been enough environmental review. Give the White House the authority to resolve issues among bickering agencies. Refocus lawsuits on material concerns, not nitpicking.
Streamline Permit Approval
Our 3-page proposal streamlines authority, focuses lawsuits on material issues, and protects the environment.
- Except in unusual circumstances, decisions to approve infrastructure projects are made in less than two years.
- The CEQ has authority to resolve all disputes regarding the scope and adequacy of environmental review pursuant to NEPA.
- CEQ has the authority to grant a fast track one-year review for those projects that were developed with significant consultation with stakeholders and that demonstrate net environmental benefits.
- The Director of the Office of Management and Budget has authority to resolve interagency disputes.
- If state and local permits are delayed for more than six months past issuance of federal permits, the Chief Permitting Officer is authorized to grant final permits for projects of interstate or national significance.
- Judicial review is limited to the question of whether the initial review failed to disclose material impacts and practical alternatives.
These changes will substantially improve review timetables and reduce construction costs while maintaining strong environmental protections for federal infrastructure projects.