The Obama Administration May 14 unveiled a plan to reduce delay for transportation projects during the environmental review and approval process. The plan focuses on providing best practices for speeding up environmental reviews through a new “Interagency Permitting Center to Institutionalize Reform,” which consists of representatives from a dozen federal agencies to share information on best practices for environmental reviews. It would also increase publicly available information on the status of permitting decisions for individual transportation projects through the “Online Permitting Dashboard.”
The plan calls for concurrent agency reviews allowing multiple parts of the approval process to take place at the same time, as well as increased interagency coordination of review schedules. Much of the strategy released May 14 reflects elements of the Administration’s four-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal. ARTBA supports the President’s plan and will actively follow its implementation, providing input as part of our continuing efforts to reduce delay in the transportation project review and approval process.