On December 4, 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was signed into law. Title 41 of the FAST Act (FAST-41) (42 U.S.C. § 4370m) created a new governance structure, set of procedures, and funding authorities designed to improve the timeliness, predictability, and transparency of the Federal environmental review and authorization process for covered infrastructure projects. FAST-41 is a voluntary program for eligible large-scale infrastructure projects and provides project sponsors with enhanced coordination among 13 Federal agencies to ensure more timely and efficient environmental reviews and authorizations.
The Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC or Permitting Council) was established by FAST-41 as an impartial federal partner responsible to oversee interagency coordination and process improvements for covered FAST-41 projects. The Permitting Council is composed of representatives at the agency Deputy Secretary-level and is chaired by an Executive Director, appointed by the President.
FAST-41 facilitates the environmental review and decision making process. Project coverage under FAST-41 does not assume or guarantee project approval and does not modify any underlying statutes, regulations, or mandatory reviews.