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

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has directed all federal agencies to “act promptly” to update their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures consistent with the Trump administration’s One Federal Decision order.

The agency’s Nov. 2 memo means agencies will soon start integrating the administration’s changes to NEPA earlier this year into their own project reviews. It sets several deadlines for agencies over the next 10 months:

  • Dec. 2, outlined schedule submitted to OMB;

  • March 15, 2021, first progress report to the agency;

  • Aug. 1, 2021, second progress report; and

  • Sept. 14, 2021, fully updated NEPA proposals.

ARTBA and a coalition of industry allies are currently defending the administration’s NEPA reforms in federal court. We will continue to be at the forefront of NEPA reform discussions as federal agencies put these new regulations into practice.

President Donald Trump’s 2017 “One Federal Decision” executive order consolidates all permitting decisions for major projects under one federal “lead” agency and sets a two-year average for completing NEPA reviews.