Infrastructure Initiatives & Executive Order 13807
On August 15, 2017, the President signed Executive Order 13807 titled “Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects,” which was published on August 24, 2017. 82 FR 40463. The Executive Order directs the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to undertake a number of actions. In particular, Section 5(e)(i) of Executive Order 13807 provides that “[w]ithin 30 days of the date of this order, the CEQ shall develop an initial list of actions it will take to enhance and modernize the Federal environmental review and authorization process. Such actions should include issuing such regulations, guidance, and directives as CEQ may deem necessary to:
- ensure optimal interagency coordination of environmental review and authorization decisions, including by providing for an expanded role and authorities for lead agencies, more clearly defined responsibilities for cooperating and participating agencies, and Government-wide applicability of NEPA decisions and analyses;
- ensure that environmental reviews and authorization decisions involving multiple agencies are conducted in a manner that is concurrent, synchronized, timely, and efficient;
- provide for agency use, to the maximum extent permitted by law, of environmental studies, analysis, and decisions conducted in support of earlier Federal, State, tribal, or local environmental reviews or authorization decisions; and
- ensure that agencies apply NEPA in a manner that reduces unnecessary burdens and delays as much as possible, including by using CEQ’s authority to interpret NEPA to simplify and accelerate the NEPA review process.”
On September 14, 2017, CEQ published a notice in the Federal Register announcing an initial list of actions it will take to enhance and modernize the Federal environmental review and authorization process for infrastructure projects.
To comply with Section 5(d) of Executive Order 13807, CEQ will refer various requests for designation of State projects pursuant to Executive Order 13766 to the Permitting Council, Department of Transportation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as appropriate. CEQ will, as appropriate in response to any additional requests from States, refer projects that qualify for designation as high priority projects in accordance with Section 5(d) of Executive Order 13807. The Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard tracks the Federal government’s environmental review and authorization processes for covered major infrastructure projects.
- Executive Order 13807 (August 15, 2017)
- CEQ Initial List of Actions & Fact Sheet (September 14, 2017)
Executive Order 13766 Requests & CEQ Responses (Updated September 18, 2017):
- U.S. Virgin Islands