Washington, D.C. - President Trump’s Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council) led the effort to complete the permitting process for the Alaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, one of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in modern U.S. history. Authorization of the 807 mile, $38 billion pipeline, which became a covered project in 2017, was completed on time today, a significant achievement for infrastructure projects that can often take more than a decade to complete the federal environmental review process.
Despite the permitting obstacles inherent in such a complex project, the Permitting Council and its federal agency partners secured or issued the 70 necessary federal, state, and local permits from over 19 federal and state agencies in less than three years. Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service transmitted the final Marine Mammal Protection Act authorization for the project, clearing one of the final steps. Construction is expected to create up to 19,000 temporary and permanent jobs and use upwards of 500,000 tons of American steel and more than 5 million cubic yards of concrete.
“I thank the Permitting Council for their diligence and commitment to predictability, transparency and certainty in completing the permitting process for this project in a timely manner and the Trump Administration for prioritizing critical infrastructure projects in the face of tremendous nationwide economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. “While this proposed project is in Alaska, thousands of miles from the rest of the country, its downstream effects would be felt by thousands of American families through the creation of jobs needed to stand up the pipeline. From contractors and engineers to steel and concrete workers, the AK LNG project could be a boost to our country’s recovering economy. I look forward to the seeing the private sector entities move this project forward.”
Successfully coordinating complex federal and state permitting efforts is nothing new for the Permitting Council, which also recently helped finalize federal approval for the Gemini Solar Project in southwest Nevada. When constructed, Gemini will be the largest solar energy facility in the United States and the eighth largest solar facility in the world. Established by Congress in 2015 under Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41), the Permitting Council is a federal agency comprised of 15 other federal agency councilmembers tasked with improving the timeliness, predictability, and transparency of the environmental review and authorization processes for certain “covered” infrastructure projects. Coverage is voluntary and reserved for proponents of projects valued at $200 million or more, that involve multiple federal agency approvals, and that meet other statutory criteria. According to Permitting Council Executive Director Alex Herrgott, FAST-41 coverage was critical to meeting the aggressive permitting timetables that were set for Alaska LNG and Gemini Solar:
“We completed all of the environmental reviews and authorizations for Alaska LNG on time and again demonstrated that the Permitting Council is a vital tool in navigating the headwinds of bureaucratic red tape, paving the way for construction of new infrastructure that America’s communities and businesses need now more than ever,” said Executive Director Alexander Herrgott. “This project is a timely victory for our economy as it will create tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs for steel pipe, compressors, turbines and construction equipment in California, Iowa, Arkansas, Florida, Oregon, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and many more communities throughout the Nation.”
The Permitting Council is currently coordinating project permitting timetables for an additional 51 large, complex infrastructure projects worth more than $200 billion, some of which also could be authorized this year creating thousands of additional new jobs. Up-to-date tracking of current FAST-41 covered project timetables is publicly available at the Permitting Dashboard.
For more information: Contact the FPISC Press Office at (202) 322-8401 or firstname.lastname@example.org
View the full press release here