Enzi, Barrasso Part of Effort to Speed Up Federal Permitting Process
U.S. Senator Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., joined Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Tuesday to introduce the Federal Permitting Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation designed to streamline and improve the federal permitting process. The senators said the current system is laden with uncertainty and unpredictability that hinders investment, economic growth, and job creation.
Barrasso and Enzi were particularly pleased with a section of the bill that would restrict environmental groups to a more reasonable deadline if they plan to bring a lawsuit against a project. Currently anyone or any group that wants to stop a project from moving forward has six years to find a reason for a lawsuit under the National Environmental Policy Act. The Federal Permitting Improvement Act would limit that time to 150 days. The bill also permits courts to consider potential job loss in weighing whether or not to stop a project. Other parts of the bill increase permitting transparency and encourage coordination between agencies.