USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Investment in Innovative Technologies to Improve Efficiency of Federal Permitting for Critical Infrastructure As Part of Investing in America Agenda

$30 Million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will support vital IT improvements at federal agencies to speed federal permitting review, improve data quality, and foster public transparency

Contact Information
Permitting Council Press Office (

WASHINGTON (April 29, 2024) – Today, the Permitting Council (Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council) is pleased to announce the allocation of over $30 million in funding to enhance permitting efficiency across the federal government as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. These funds will enable federal agencies to build and improve critical IT tools and invest in innovative technologies to advance the efficiency of federal permitting reviews and authorizations of infrastructure projects.  These investments come at a critical time to enable agencies to meet the influx of applications resulting from once-in-a-generation investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act.

“Today’s action by the Permitting Council is an important step forward as we continue to fulfill our role as a permitting center of excellence, supporting the President’s ambitious infrastructure goals,” said Eric Beightel, Permitting Council Executive Director. “In order to capitalize on the tremendous opportunity to transition to a clean energy economy and rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, we need to make sure that federal agencies are equipped with state-of-the-art IT resources that will support meaningful public engagement, enhance transparency and timeliness of decisions without sacrificing environmental quality.” 

The $30 million in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will support 13 IT projects in 11 different federal agencies which will incorporate new technologies into permitting processes, from artificial intelligence and GIS mapping, to online applicant portals and innovative data sharing systems. These investments will accelerate and spur innovation in environmental permitting across the federal government through 1) technology to automate processes for routine actions, improving public transparency and saving time, 2) new tools to ease the management of complex workstreams and improve data quality for better coordination, analysis and decision making, and 3) leveraging cutting-edge technologies to save time and improve outcomes. See the Permitting Council Fact Sheet for more information on IT projects.

Agencies receiving IT Investments:

●    Department of the Interior-Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance (DOI-OECP) - Public Comment Analysis Tool: $6.5M
●    Department of the Interior-Fish and Wildlife Service (DOI-FWS)-ECOSphere Enhancing Workflow: $3M
●    Department of the Interior-Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (DOI-BOEM) - InfoSys for Renewable Energy program: $4.4M
●    Department of the Interior-Bureau of Indian Affairs (DOI-BIA) - Right-of-Way System Feasibility Study: $385K
●    U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) - Rapid Environmental Approval Portal-Electronic Review: $1.9M
●    U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USDA-FS) - Special Uses ePermitting: $2.5M
●    Department of Commerce-National Telecommunications and Information Administration (DOC-NTIA) - Environmental and Historic Preservation Screening and Permitting Tracking (Salesforce) Tool : $2.6M
●    Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) - Integrated Electronic Nationwide Properties Map: $$750K
●    Department of Homeland Security-U.S. Coast Guard (DHS-USCG) - Bridge Permit Online Application System: $500K
●    Department of Homeland Security-U.S. Coast Guard (DHS-USCG) - US Aids to Navigation Information Management System/Bridge Tile System: $300K
●    Department of Homeland Security-U.S. Coast Guard (DHS-USCG) - Waterways Management Risk Module: $323K
●    Department of Energy (DOE) - PolicyAI Pilot: $6.1M
●    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Tribal Directory Assessment Tool (TDAT) Enhancements: $760K

Total funding: $30.02 million

“When it comes to quickly delivering high speed internet and clean, reliable energy to hundreds of thousands of customers, the right workforce and permitting systems are crucial,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small. “With this investment from the Permitting Council, we can accelerate the delivery of investments thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen infrastructure and improve resilience for rural America.”

“AI-driven technologies are already transforming the world, and we’re looking to leverage them to modernize the way we permit clean energy infrastructure in our country,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk. “DOE and our National Laboratories have always been at the forefront of cutting-edge AI research and development, and we will meet this critical moment in history by securing U.S. leadership in both AI innovation and clean energy deployment.”

“With the Biden-Harris administration’s historic investments in infrastructure being made throughout the country, the need for coordination between federal, state, local and tribal partners cannot be understated,” said U.S. Department of Housing Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman. “Through a system investment like HUD’s Tribal Directory Assessment Tool (TDAT), HUD’s grantees and recipients can ensure that they consult the appropriate Tribal partners on these critical infrastructure projects – furthering a better future for us all.”

"This investment will jump-start ACHP's ambitious effort to create an integrated, nationwide map of historic and cultural resources – which will inform early planning and siting decisions and will accelerate permitting for 120,000 federal undertakings every year,” said Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Chair Sara Bronin. “We couldn't be more grateful for the Permitting Council's support of ACHP to design an interoperable and scalable system that assembles, cleans, and harmonizes GIS data from a variety of sources, so that we can both protect the places Americans cherish and advance the publicly-funded projects from which we all benefit." 

“The US Coast Guard will be developing 1) a new geographic information system mapping capability for its U.S. Aids to Navigation Information System and Bridge Tile System; 2) a Waterways Risk Model; and 3) an online Bridge Permit Application System,” said DHS Deputy Under Secretary for Management Tex Alles. “These new resources will provide a more transparent and efficient application process for project sponsors, partner agencies, and other stakeholders. The Department and U.S. Coast Guard appreciates this opportunity provided by the Permitting Council to streamline environmental review and infrastructure permitting through technology to meet Administration priorities for a more timely, efficient, and transparent process.” 

“As the Interior Department implements historic investments provided through President Biden’s Investment in America agenda to tackle the climate crisis and restore our nation’s lands and water, the need for increased capacity and efficiency is critical,” said Acting Deputy Secretary of the Interior Laura Daniel-Davis. “With these new resources, our Department’s bureaus and offices will have more tools to streamline efficiency, enhance transparency and get vital funding into the hands of the communities who need it most.”

“Internet for All is an historic commitment to connect everyone in America to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service, and streamlining the permitting process is critical to its success,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “The Permitting Council’s funding will support NTIA efforts to help states and territories identify permit requirements and more efficiently navigate applications and environmental reviews using cutting-edge tech tools.”

About the Permitting Council

Established in 2015 by Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41) and made permanent in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Permitting Council is a federal agency charged with improving the transparency and predictability of the federal environmental review and authorization process for certain critical infrastructure projects. 

The Permitting Council coordinates federal environmental reviews and authorizations for projects that seek and qualify for FAST-41 coverage. FAST-41 covered projects are entitled to comprehensive permitting timetables and transparent, collaborative management of those timetables on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. FAST-41 covered projects may be in the renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, energy storage, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, mining, carbon capture, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing and advanced computer hardware and software, quantum information science and technology, data storage and data management, and cybersecurity sectors.

Last updated: Monday, April 29, 2024