It is my sincere honor and privilege to be named the Executive Director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council).
As the Executive Director, I look forward to working with our Federal and state partners and project sponsors to deliver on this once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure. My objective is to enhance coordination between all parties to create transparent, statutorily mandated permitting timetables and concurrent environmental authorizations to decrease timeline and cost risks for project sponsors. The Permitting Council is charged with improving the timeliness, predictability, and transparency of the federal permitting process for “covered” infrastructure projects in the conventional energy, renewable energy, electricity transmission, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipeline, manufacturing, mining, and carbon sequestration sectors, and covers over 60 federal reviews and authorizations.
Under my leadership, the Permitting Council will play an essential role in bringing renewable energy projects and other green infrastructure projects in line with President Biden’s infrastructure agenda. Addressing climate change is an all-hands-on-deck challenge—one that government cannot do solely on its own. We need to partner with private capital to build these solutions; as such, we are here to support efforts to invest in infrastructure in the United States and remove uncertainty for project timelines and costs. We encourage all projects in our portfolio, especially those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to participate in the FAST-41 process.
I also look forward to fostering greater Federal/state cooperation for FAST-41. States, in particular, can benefit from renewable energy/infrastructure projects through FAST-41 coverage. To date, the Permitting Council has successfully partnered with states to increase transparency, significantly reduce overall permitting timelines, and remove uncertainty from major infrastructure projects.
FAST-41 coverage does not predetermine the outcome of any federal decision making process with respect to any project. FAST-41 is a voluntary program governed by the statutory eligibility criteria and expressly does not alter any applicable statutory or regulatory requirement, environmental review process, or public involvement procedure. Instead, the Permitting Council achieves FAST-41 benefits by coordinating interagency efforts, eliminating needless duplication, and engaging federal agencies and project sponsors to foster improved communication and clarify expectations.
I very much look forward to working with you as we deliver improved infrastructure, equitable investments, and jobs for our nation.