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Office of the Press Secretary

Creating Jobs Faster by Cutting Timelines in Half for Major Infrastructure Projects

As part of the Administration’s effort to make America a magnet for jobs by building a 21st Century infrastructure, President Obama will sign a Presidential Memorandum that will modernize the Federal infrastructure permitting process, cutting timelines in half for major infrastructure projects while creating incentives for better outcomes for communities and the environment. 
 
By cutting red tape and shaving months, and even years, off the time it takes to review and approve major infrastructure projects, we will be able to start construction sooner, create jobs earlier, and fix our Nation’s infrastructure faster. 
 
In March 2012, the President issued an Executive Order launching a government-wide initiative to improve the efficiency of Federal review and permitting of infrastructure projects.  Since then, agencies have expedited the review and permitting of 50 major projects, including bridges, transit projects, railways, waterways, roads, and renewable energy.  In just one example, Federal agencies recently approved the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project in New York, saving up to three years on the timeline of a multi-billion project that will help put Americans back to work.
 
As a result of the President’s Executive Order, agencies have also identified a set of best practices for efficient review and permitting, which range from expanding information technology (IT) tools to strategies for improving collaboration, such as having multiple agencies review a project at the same time, instead of one after the other.  Today’s Presidential Memorandum institutionalizes these best practices, directing all relevant agencies to put them into effect.
 
Further details on this initiative and the results achieved so far can be found in the Administration’s first annual Report to the President, which was also published today.  And results of specific projects can be tracked on the Administration’s Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard, a new tool that provides an unprecedented level of transparency into the Federal permitting and review process.  
 
This permitting modernization effort represents an important component of the President’s larger effort to grow the economy, accelerate job creation, and improve U.S. competitiveness by building a 21st Century infrastructure.  Notably, the President’s Budget calls for immediately investing $50 billion in our Nation’s transportation infrastructure, with $40 billion devoted to “fix-it-first” projects that target areas in the most urgent need of repair.  The President also proposed a “Rebuild America Partnership,” creating tools to encourage partnerships between the private sector and Federal, State, and local governments to enhance the role of private capital in U.S. infrastructure investment and ensure America has the best transportation, electric, water, and communications networks in the world.

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