White House takes steps to accelerate infrastructure plan

May 11, 2022

Mark Schremmer

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The White House says it does not want to waste any time rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.

As part of a White House Fact Sheet released on Wednesday, May 11, the Biden administration said it is releasing a Permitting Action Plan to accelerate and deliver infrastructure projects “on time” and “on budget.”

In 2021, Congress passed and Biden signed into law an infrastructure package aimed at investing in communities and growing the economy.

“The action plan outlines the administration’s strategy for ensuring that federal environmental reviews and permitting processes are effective, efficient, and transparent, guided by the best available science to promote positive environmental and community outcomes and shaped by early and meaningful public engagement,” the White House said. “Taken together, these new steps will help strengthen supply chains, lower costs for families, grow our clean energy economy, revitalize communities across the country, support good-paying jobs, and deliver infrastructure investments on task, on time, and on budget without unnecessary bureaucratic delay.”

According to the White House, the Permitting Action Plan is built on five key elements to help ensure the “timely and effective” delivery of upgrades to America’s infrastructure.

1. Accelerating smart permitting through early cross-agency coordination.

“Ensuring early coordination and effective communication across federal agencies is critical for moving infrastructure projects forward efficiently and on time,” the White House said.

2. Establishing clear timeline goals and tracking key project information.

“Communities and project proponents all benefit from having clear information about the schedules, key milestones and deadlines, and public comment opportunities for the environmental review and permitting of major projects,” the White House said. “Timeline goals and up-to-date information increase accountability, encourage efficiency, enable greater public participation in project decisions and build greater trust in government.”

3. Engaging in early and meaningful outreach.

As part of the plan, the White House said it will proactively partner and coordinate with relevant state, territorial, tribal and local governments.

4. Improving agency responsiveness.

Part of the goal will be to identify, share and develop tools to help stakeholders navigate the environmental review and permitting process.

5. Using agency resources and environmental reviews to improve impact.

“Timely, informative environmental reviews that are guided by the best available science and help deliver positive environmental and community impact require sufficient levels of skilled agency staff and effective use of budgetary resources,” the White House said. LL

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.