Agencies Agree To Speed Environmental Permitting

Author:Ms Stacey H. Mitchell, Susan H. Lent, Ian A. Shavitz, Andrew Oelz and Viktoriia A. De Las Casas
Profession:Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Effective yesterday, April 10, 2018, seven executive departments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have agreed to cooperate for the timely environmental review and authorization of major infrastructure projects, such as pipelines, roads, and bridges, by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) implementing President Trump's August 2017 "One Federal Decision" Executive Order. Under the MOU, one lead agency will be responsible for developing a streamlined permitting timetable that would generally apply to all the environmental reviews and authorizations required for a project with an express goal of completing all reviews and authorizations within two years (commencing from the lead agency's Notice of Intent (NOI) through the Record of Decision (ROD) publication). While this timetable would govern the actions of involved and cooperating agencies and include multiple milestones that should help move environmental reviews forward more quickly and efficiently, it is important to note that the two-year deadline is a "goal;" the deadlines are not enforceable unless enacted into law...

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