BRT: White House Plan to Speed Infrastructure a Positive Step | Business Roundtable


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Expanded ‘Dashboard,’ New Guidance for Agencies after 30 Years Will Improve Federal Permitting
WASHINGTON – Business Roundtable today praised actions by the Obama Administration to expedite government approval of infrastructure projects, saying they will help create a modernized and more effective federal permitting process.
Congress should also act on legislation to improve federal permitting for infrastructure projects, investments that will strengthen the economy and put Americans to work in good-paying jobs, Business Roundtable President John Engler said.
“The Administration is taking positive steps toward a more sensible, predictable and timely permitting process,” Engler said. “As much as $3 in economic activity is created by every dollar invested in infrastructure, and we can do much more to move those investments forward.”
“Congress is also considering legislation that could help lock in a more effective permitting process, and we encourage the House and Senate to act on those bills.”
According to a new Business Roundtable report, Road to Growth: The Case for Investing in America’s Transportation Infrastructure, the overall quality of U.S. infrastructure ranks 16th in the world, behind other countries such as Germany, France and Japan. One reason the United States has fallen behind competitors is the unusually long and complicated permitting process, the report concluded.
The White House’s Office of Management and Budget and the Council on Environmental Quality today issued new guidance to federal agencies to expand the use of the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard, a tool for tracking agency action on permits and environmental reviews for proposed infrastructure projects.
In addition, federal agencies updated Synchronizing Environmental Reviews for Transportation and Other Infrastructure Projects (the Red Book), which provides guidance to agencies and others on efficient permits and reviews. This is the first update in 30 years.