Federal agencies approved 30 of 52 major road, bridge, transit, and waterway projects over the last few years, but that's not fast enough for President Obama.Two recent updates are aimed at making planning, designing, and building public works projects even easier and faster.
The White House Office of Management and Budget issued new guidance for the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard. In development since 2012, the online tool requires reviewing agencies to develop a coordinated, publicly accessible project schedule.
Earlier this month, the 11 federal agencies that are involved in developing and delivering infrastructure projects began identifying new projects for which milestones will be posted within 90 days: target and actual dates of application receipt, permit issuances and/or approvals, release of draft and final Environmental Impact Statements, and issuance of final decisions.
The Red Book (formal title: Synchronizing Environmental Reviews for Transportation and Other Infrastructure Projects) received its first update in 30 years. According to a White House blog, the handbook provides real-world guidance to federal agencies, applicants, project sponsors, and consultants on improving the efficiency of key permits.
"We're pushing ourselves so that federal permitting becomes a sprint rather than a relay race," says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "To deliver projects that achieve real impacts for the American people, we need to act with urgency."