Federal agencies try to smooth infrastructure projects' path through red tape

The Obama administration recently took proactive measures to further advance federal action on U.S. infrastructure projects by launching efforts to provide a smoother path through permitting and review processes.

The White House Office of Management and Budget and Council on Environmental Quality issued new guidance this week to provide direction to federal agencies for taking action to significantly expand the use of -- and the number of infrastructure projects on -- the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard, a tool for publicly tracking agency progress on completing federal permitting and environmental review processes for proposed infrastructure projects.

“To deliver infrastructure projects that achieve real impacts for the American people, we need to act with urgency and recognize that every day counts,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “Today's actions help us get there. We are pushing ourselves to improve efficiency, coordination and collaboration so that federal permitting becomes a sprint rather than a relay race."

A strong infrastructure is crucial to any economy in any nation. Simplifying the process behind infrastructure projects will help the U.S. take greater strides forward.

"The Army Corps of Engineers is proud of partnering with other federal agencies to update the ‘Synchronizing Environmental Reviews for Transportation and Other Infrastructure Projects,' also known as the Red Book,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army, said. “The Red Book supports more timely permit decisions, allowing a diverse set of infrastructure projects to advance through the permitting process in a more transparent and efficient manner. Infrastructure projects will be evaluated and permitted faster."

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