New Highway Bill Streamlines Federal Environmental Review Processes

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Stoel Rives attorneys Jeffrey Leppo and Jared Wigginton authored an article in Law360 titled “Streamlining The Environmental Review Processes.” The article discusses the Highway Authorization Act, signed into law by President Obama on December 4, in particular the act’s objective of expediting the federal licensing, permitting, approval, etc. and environmental review processes for major infrastructure projects such as for conventional and renewable energy production, electricity transmission, transportation and manufacturing.

The authors discuss several aspects of the streamlined process, which they explain is meant to “benefit sponsors of qualifying projects by increasing federal agency accountability, efficiency and transparency in ways that shorten the duration of agency decision-making and environmental review, and that keep project sponsors apprised of their project’s status during these processes.”

To accomplish its goals, the act establishes a new administrative body, the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Steering Council, which is designed to improve existing processes and whose executive director designates a facilitating agency for each project category covered by the act. The authors further discuss the roles of the facilitating agencies in the preparation of a coordinated project plan for each project as well the requirements for a project to be qualified under the act.

Read “Streamlining The Environmental Review Processes,” published December 21, 2015. (Subscription required.)

For more information see also our recent legal alert on the subject.

Key Contributors

Jeffrey W. Leppo
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