Portman Opening Statement at PSI Oversight Hearing on Federal Infrastructure Permitting and FAST-41
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) delivered opening remarks at a hearing entitled “Oversight of Federal Infrastructure Permitting and FAST-41.” In his remarks, he highlighted the need to build on efforts to streamline the permitting process to promote job creation and economic growth and praised the work of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, which saved infrastructure projects more than $1 billion in avoided delays.
Studies show that infrastructure in the United States is lagging behind other developed countries and has been slipping in worldwide rankings in recent years. A well-developed infrastructure system of roads, bridges, ports, pipelines, and manufacturing facilities attracts investment into our country and provides good jobs to hardworking Americans. While infrastructure projects must comply with laws that protect our environment, it’s also critical that any conflict or duplication between federal permitting requirements that may arise be minimized so that the federal permitting process for major infrastructure projects does not discourage investment in our infrastructure.
In 2015, Sens. Portman and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) co-sponsored legislation that ultimately became Title 41 of the FAST Act. FAST-41 requires that one agency serve as the lead agency for covered projects; all agencies involved in covered projects develop a coordinated permitting timeline at the start of the process; and agencies must post the permitting timeline and updates to it on an online Permitting Dashboard throughout the permitting process for each covered project. FAST-41 also established the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council to help implement best practices in the permitting process and serve as a resource for coordinating covered projects.
A transcript of his remarks is below and a video can be found here: