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Agencies Show Transparency, Progress Toward Modernizing Infrastructure Permitting With Release of Scorecards

Infrastructure projects, such as construction of highways, bridges, and electric transmission lines, drive economic growth and quality of life in communities across the United States. We experience the benefits of investing in infrastructure daily, through higher wages, reduced traffic, increased access to energy, lower costs of goods and services, increased economic activity, and more. We should ensure that the time and resources dedicated to infrastructure are spent as efficiently as possible to maximize the benefit to the American public.

Today, as part of the President’s Management Agenda’s longer-term vision for modernizing the federal government, the Administration released the inaugural Infrastructure Permitting Accountability Scorecards to track how agencies are progressing toward modernizing the permitting process for major infrastructure projects.

Permitting and environmental review processes ensure major infrastructure projects are designed and constructed in a way that protects communities and the environment. These processes are critical to safeguarding clean water, historic properties, Native American cultural sites, endangered species, and other important resources. However, the processes for applying and receiving required permits and authorizations can be cumbersome, often involving many different agencies, rules, and regulations. The processes can also be inconsistent and uncoordinated, leading to significant project delays and increased costs.

A cross-agency team has been driving improvements to the complex review and permitting processes described above. Through the standardization and improvement of interagency coordination, predictability and transparency, agency accountability, and implementation of best practices, the Administration is empowering infrastructure project sponsors to start construction sooner, create jobs earlier, and fix our nation’s infrastructure faster while still protecting community resources and the environment. The new streamlined approach is already producing hundreds of millions of dollars in savings.

The scorecards released today track how agencies are making progress across the following categories:

  • One Federal Decision: Agencies must jointly and cooperatively process major infrastructure projects using the One Federal Decision framework, which synchronizes reviews and provides a more consistent and predictable process for stakeholders.
  • Permitting Timetables: Agencies must complete and share permitting timetables with target dates for all major milestones, enhancing transparency and interagency coordination. Permitting timetables let project sponsors, local governments, and the public know when to expect updates and how to plan accordingly.
  • Elevation Procedures: Agencies must establish and implement a process that elevates schedule delays to senior agency officials when it’s anticipated that one or more milestones will be missed. Having these procedures in place helps projects get back on track more quickly, reducing unnecessary costs.

As more data are collected, these scorecards will expand to track additional performance metrics, including whether major milestone achievements are on schedule and the time and money spent to complete reviews. Check out the agency scorecards and summary of highlights to see the progress made toward modernizing infrastructure permitting, and stay tuned as agencies continue to improve processes and deliver results for Americans more efficiently.

Last updated: Thursday, June 20, 2019