The United States’ outdated permitting system has become one of the largest barriers to timely and cost-effective infrastructure projects across the country, and business groups and trade associations are asking Congress to take action by the end of this summer.
A new letter being circulated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been signed by FEDA, is calling on congressional leaders to enact meaningful, durable legislation to modernize America’s permitting process. The letter argues that the United States cannot achieve any of its needed infrastructure projects, such as investing in transit systems and building new energy production transmission, if the permitting process is not improved.
“We are pleased to see support for modernizing our permitting process from across the ideological spectrum, and a recognition that the current system is broken,” the letter states. “We know there are differing perspectives in Congress on how best to address current challenges. Our organizations will not agree on every issue. We are committed, however, to working with Congress to find solutions and pass meaningful and durable legislation.”
The letter further outlines four principles that should serve as a starting point for legislation:
- Predictability — Project developers and financers must have an appropriate level of certainty regarding the scope and timeline for project reviews, including any related judicial review.
- Efficiency — Interagency coordination must be improved to optimize public and private resources while driving better environmental and community outcomes.
- Transparency — Project sponsors and the public must have visibility into the project permitting milestones and schedule through easily accessible public means.
- Stakeholder Input — All relevant stakeholders must be adequately informed and have the opportunity to provide input within a reasonable and consistent timeframe.
The full letter is available here.