By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA
Declaring that “the regulatory process in this country has become a tangled up mess,” President Donald Trump Jan. 24 signed five executive orders to advance stalled pipeline projects and streamline the environmental review process for other major infrastructure work.
Two of the orders are aimed at ARTBA-supported pipeline projects—Dakota Access and Keystone XL—that were stalled during the Obama administration. Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must expedite approval of an easement necessary for Dakota construction, while inviting the Trans Canada Corporation to resubmit their application for Keystone. A third order directs all pipeline projects in the U.S. to use domestically-produced steel and iron products to the maximum extent possible.
The remaining two orders are focused on the environmental review and approval process. One allows infrastructure projects to be designated by state or federal officials as “high priority.” Upon receiving such a designation, the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality must coordinate “expedited procedures and deadlines for completion of environmental reviews and approvals for such projects.” The other order directs the nation’s commerce secretary to conduct outreach and develop a “plan to streamline federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens affecting domestic manufacturers.”
Trump said the orders are designed to help eliminate a “cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process.” Read the orders: American pipelines; Dakota pipeline; Keystone pipeline; Priority infrastructure; and Manufacturing.