Administration Issues Executive Order Designed to Streamline Federal Environmental Permitting Reviews for Infrastructure Projects: Order Establishes a Two-Year Timeline for Processing Federal Environmental Reviews and a One Federal Decision Policy for Major Infrastructure Projects

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - August 21, 2017

On August 15, the President issued an Executive Order Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects with the intention of streamlining Federal environmental approval procedures that can delay infrastructure projects. The Order builds on prior legislative and regulatory efforts to speed the approval of infrastructure projects by establishing a goal of completing all Federal environmental reviews and authorization decisions for major infrastructure projects within two years. In addition to the two-year timeline, the Order establishes a One Federal Decision policy that will require the designation of a lead Federal agency with responsibility for navigating each major infrastructure project through the Federal environmental review and authorization process and, where feasible, a single Record of Decision for all the participating Federal agencies. The Order directs all Federal agency authorization decisions for major infrastructure projects to be completed within 90 days following the issuance of the Record of Decision.