By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory & legal issues, ARTBA

ARTBA is recommending a number of ways to streamline the federal permitting system for transportation construction projects.

In a March 15 statement to the House Committee Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy and Environment, the association detailed how the past four surface transportation reauthorization bills have tried to reduce permitting delays and smooth the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review and approval process.

While there has been notable progress in “cutting red tape,” the association pointed to a number of areas where the process could be improved. These include integration of the NEPA and transportation planning process; providing clear timelines for NEPA objectives; and encouraging concise NEPA documents.

ARTBA also outlined areas of the administration’s recently released infrastructure plan that could be helpful in improving the permitting process.