Modernizing Federal Infrastructure Review and Permitting Regulations, Policies, and Procedures, 30733-30736 [2013-12403]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 99 / Wednesday, May 22, 2013 / Presidential Documents 30733 Presidential Documents Memorandum of May 17, 2013 Modernizing Federal Infrastructure Review and Permitting Regulations, Policies, and Procedures Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies Reliable, safe, and resilient infrastructure is the backbone of an economy built to last. Investing in our Nation’s infrastructure serves as an engine for job creation and economic growth, while bringing immediate and longterm economic benefits to communities across the country. The quality of our infrastructure is critical to maintaining our Nation’s competitive edge in a global economy and to securing our path to energy independence. In taking steps to improve our infrastructure, we must remember that the protection and continued enjoyment of our Nation’s environmental, historical, and cultural resources remain an equally important driver of economic opportunity, resiliency, and quality of life. Through the implementation of Executive Order 13604 of March 22, 2012 (Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects), executive departments and agencies (agencies) have achieved better outcomes for communities and the environment and realized substantial time savings in review and permitting by prioritizing the deployment of resources to specific sectors and projects, and by implementing best-management practices. TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with O0 These best-management practices include: integrating project reviews among agencies with permitting responsibilities; ensuring early coordination with other Federal agencies, as well as with State, local, and tribal governments; strategically engaging with, and conducting outreach to, stakeholders; employing project-planning processes and individual project designs that consider local and regional ecological planning goals; utilizing landscape- and watershed-level mitigation practices; promoting the sharing of scientific and environmental data in open-data formats to minimize redundancy, facilitate informed project planning, and identify data gaps early in the review and permitting process; promoting performance-based permitting and regulatory approaches; expanding the use of general permits where appropriate; improving transparency and accountability through the electronic tracking of review and permitting schedules; and applying best environmental and cultural practices as set forth in existing statutes and policies. Based on the process and policy improvements that are already being implemented across the Federal Government, we can continue to modernize the Federal Government’s review and permitting of infrastructure projects and reduce aggregate timelines for major infrastructure projects by half, while also improving outcomes for communities and the environment by institutionalizing these best-management practices, and by making additional improvements to enhance efficiencies in the application of regulations and processes involving multiple agencies—including expanding the use of webbased techniques for sharing project-related information, facilitating targeted and relevant environmental reviews, and providing meaningful opportunities for public input through stakeholder engagement. By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to advance the goal of cutting VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:06 May 21, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\22MYO0.SGM 22MYO0 30734 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 99 / Wednesday, May 22, 2013 / Presidential Documents aggregate timelines for major infrastructure projects in half, while also improving outcomes for communities and the environment, I hereby direct the following: Section 1. Modernization of Review and Permitting Regulations, Policies, and Procedures. (a) The Steering Committee on Federal Infrastructure Permitting and Review Process Improvement (Steering Committee), established by Executive Order 13604, shall work with the Chief Performance Officer (CPO), in coordination with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), to modernize Federal infrastructure review and permitting regulations, policies, and procedures to significantly reduce the aggregate time required by the Federal Government to make decisions in the review and permitting of infrastructure projects, while improving environmental and community outcomes. This modernization shall build upon and incorporate reforms identified by agencies pursuant to Executive Order 13604 and Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review). (b) Through an interagency process, coordinated by the CPO and working closely with CEQ and OIRA, the Steering Committee shall conduct the following modernization efforts: (i) Within 60 days of the date of this memorandum, the Steering Committee shall identify and prioritize opportunities to modernize key regulations, policies, and procedures—both agency-specific and those involving multiple agencies—to reduce the aggregate project review and permitting time, while improving environmental and community outcomes. (ii) Within 120 days of the date of this memorandum, the Steering Committee shall prepare a plan for a comprehensive modernization of Federal review and permitting for infrastructure projects based on the analysis required by subsection (b)(i) of this section that outlines specific steps for re-engineering both the intra- and inter-agency review and approval processes based on experience implementing Executive Order 13604. The plan shall identify proposed actions and associated timelines to: (1) institutionalize or expand best practices or process improvements that agencies are already implementing to improve the efficiency of reviews, while improving outcomes for communities and the environment; (2) revise key review and permitting regulations, policies, and procedures (both agency-specific and Government-wide); (3) identify high-performance attributes of infrastructure projects that demonstrate how the projects seek to advance existing statutory and policy objectives and how they lead to improved outcomes for communities and the environment, thereby facilitating a faster and more efficient review and permitting process; (4) create process efficiencies, including additional use of concurrent and integrated reviews; (5) identify opportunities to use existing share-in-cost authorities and other non-appropriated funding sources to support early coordination and project review; (6) effectively engage the public and interested stakeholders; TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with O0 (7) expand coordination with State, local, and tribal governments; (8) strategically expand the use of information technology (IT) tools and identify priority areas for IT investment to replace paperwork processes, enhance effective project siting decisions, enhance interagency collaboration, and improve the monitoring of project impacts and mitigation commitments; and (9) identify improvements to mitigation policies to provide project developers with added predictability, facilitate landscape-scale mitigation based on conservation plans and regional environmental assessments, facilitate interagency mitigation plans where appropriate, ensure accountability and VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:06 May 21, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\22MYO0.SGM 22MYO0 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 99 / Wednesday, May 22, 2013 / Presidential Documents 30735 the long-term effectiveness of mitigation activities, and utilize innovative mechanisms where appropriate. The modernization plan prepared pursuant to this section shall take into account funding and resource constraints and shall prioritize implementation accordingly. (c) Infrastructure sectors covered by the modernization effort include: surface transportation, such as roadways, bridges, railroads, and transit; aviation; ports and related infrastructure, including navigational channels; water resources projects; renewable energy generation; conventional energy production in high-demand areas; electricity transmission; broadband; pipelines; storm water infrastructure; and other sectors as determined by the Steering Committee. (d) The following agencies or offices and their relevant sub-divisions shall engage in the modernization effort: (i) the Department of Defense; (ii) the Department of the Interior; (iii) the Department of Agriculture; (iv) the Department of Commerce; (v) the Department of Transportation; (vi) the Department of Energy; (vii) the Department of Homeland Security; (viii) the Environmental Protection Agency; (ix) the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; (x) the Department of the Army; (xi) the Council on Environmental Quality; and (xii) such other agencies or offices as the CPO may invite to participate. Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect: (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals, or the regulatory review process. (b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. (c) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with Executive Order 12898 of February 11, 1994 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations), Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), and my memorandum of November 5, 2009 (Tribal Consultation). TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with O0 (d) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:06 May 21, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\22MYO0.SGM 22MYO0 30736 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 99 / Wednesday, May 22, 2013 / Presidential Documents (e) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register. THE WHITE HOUSE, Washington, May 17, 2013. [FR Doc. 2013–12403 Filed 5–21–13; 11:15 am] VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:06 May 21, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\22MYO0.SGM 22MYO0 OB#1.EPS</GPH> TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with O0 Billing code 3110–01

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 99 (Wednesday, May 22, 2013)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 30733-30736]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-12403]




                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 99 / Wednesday, May 22, 2013 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 30733]]


                Memorandum of May 17, 2013

                
Modernizing Federal Infrastructure Review and 
                Permitting Regulations, Policies, and Procedures

                Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and 
                Agencies

                Reliable, safe, and resilient infrastructure is the 
                backbone of an economy built to last. Investing in our 
                Nation's infrastructure serves as an engine for job 
                creation and economic growth, while bringing immediate 
                and long-term economic benefits to communities across 
                the country. The quality of our infrastructure is 
                critical to maintaining our Nation's competitive edge 
                in a global economy and to securing our path to energy 
                independence. In taking steps to improve our 
                infrastructure, we must remember that the protection 
                and continued enjoyment of our Nation's environmental, 
                historical, and cultural resources remain an equally 
                important driver of economic opportunity, resiliency, 
                and quality of life.

                Through the implementation of Executive Order 13604 of 
                March 22, 2012 (Improving Performance of Federal 
                Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects), 
                executive departments and agencies (agencies) have 
                achieved better outcomes for communities and the 
                environment and realized substantial time savings in 
                review and permitting by prioritizing the deployment of 
                resources to specific sectors and projects, and by 
                implementing best-management practices.

                These best-management practices include: integrating 
                project reviews among agencies with permitting 
                responsibilities; ensuring early coordination with 
                other Federal agencies, as well as with State, local, 
                and tribal governments; strategically engaging with, 
                and conducting outreach to, stakeholders; employing 
                project-planning processes and individual project 
                designs that consider local and regional ecological 
                planning goals; utilizing landscape- and watershed-
                level mitigation practices; promoting the sharing of 
                scientific and environmental data in open-data formats 
                to minimize redundancy, facilitate informed project 
                planning, and identify data gaps early in the review 
                and permitting process; promoting performance-based 
                permitting and regulatory approaches; expanding the use 
                of general permits where appropriate; improving 
                transparency and accountability through the electronic 
                tracking of review and permitting schedules; and 
                applying best environmental and cultural practices as 
                set forth in existing statutes and policies.

                Based on the process and policy improvements that are 
                already being implemented across the Federal 
                Government, we can continue to modernize the Federal 
                Government's review and permitting of infrastructure 
                projects and reduce aggregate timelines for major 
                infrastructure projects by half, while also improving 
                outcomes for communities and the environment by 
                institutionalizing these best-management practices, and 
                by making additional improvements to enhance 
                efficiencies in the application of regulations and 
                processes involving multiple agencies--including 
                expanding the use of web-based techniques for sharing 
                project-related information, facilitating targeted and 
                relevant environmental reviews, and providing 
                meaningful opportunities for public input through 
                stakeholder engagement.

                By the authority vested in me as President by the 
                Constitution and the laws of the United States of 
                America, and to advance the goal of cutting

[[Page 30734]]

                aggregate timelines for major infrastructure projects 
                in half, while also improving outcomes for communities 
                and the environment, I hereby direct the following:

                Section 1. Modernization of Review and Permitting 
                Regulations, Policies, and Procedures. (a) The Steering 
                Committee on Federal Infrastructure Permitting and 
                Review Process Improvement (Steering Committee), 
                established by Executive Order 13604, shall work with 
                the Chief Performance Officer (CPO), in coordination 
                with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 
                (OIRA) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), 
                to modernize Federal infrastructure review and 
                permitting regulations, policies, and procedures to 
                significantly reduce the aggregate time required by the 
                Federal Government to make decisions in the review and 
                permitting of infrastructure projects, while improving 
                environmental and community outcomes.

                This modernization shall build upon and incorporate 
                reforms identified by agencies pursuant to Executive 
                Order 13604 and Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 
                2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review).

                    (b) Through an interagency process, coordinated by 
                the CPO and working closely with CEQ and OIRA, the 
                Steering Committee shall conduct the following 
                modernization efforts:

(i) Within 60 days of the date of this memorandum, the Steering Committee 
shall identify and prioritize opportunities to modernize key regulations, 
policies, and procedures--both agency-specific and those involving multiple 
agencies--to reduce the aggregate project review and permitting time, while 
improving environmental and community outcomes.

(ii) Within 120 days of the date of this memorandum, the Steering Committee 
shall prepare a plan for a comprehensive modernization of Federal review 
and permitting for infrastructure projects based on the analysis required 
by subsection (b)(i) of this section that outlines specific steps for re-
engineering both the intra- and inter-agency review and approval processes 
based on experience implementing Executive Order 13604. The plan shall 
identify proposed actions and associated timelines to:

  (1) institutionalize or expand best practices or process improvements 
that agencies are already implementing to improve the efficiency of 
reviews, while improving outcomes for communities and the environment;

  (2) revise key review and permitting regulations, policies, and 
procedures (both agency-specific and Government-wide);

  (3) identify high-performance attributes of infrastructure projects that 
demonstrate how the projects seek to advance existing statutory and policy 
objectives and how they lead to improved outcomes for communities and the 
environment, thereby facilitating a faster and more efficient review and 
permitting process;

  (4) create process efficiencies, including additional use of concurrent 
and integrated reviews;

  (5) identify opportunities to use existing share-in-cost authorities and 
other non-appropriated funding sources to support early coordination and 
project review;

  (6) effectively engage the public and interested stakeholders;

  (7) expand coordination with State, local, and tribal governments;

  (8) strategically expand the use of information technology (IT) tools and 
identify priority areas for IT investment to replace paperwork processes, 
enhance effective project siting decisions, enhance interagency 
collaboration, and improve the monitoring of project impacts and mitigation 
commitments; and

  (9) identify improvements to mitigation policies to provide project 
developers with added predictability, facilitate landscape-scale mitigation 
based on conservation plans and regional environmental assessments, 
facilitate interagency mitigation plans where appropriate, ensure 
accountability and

[[Page 30735]]

the long-term effectiveness of mitigation activities, and utilize 
innovative mechanisms where appropriate.

                The modernization plan prepared pursuant to this 
                section shall take into account funding and resource 
                constraints and shall prioritize implementation 
                accordingly.

                    (c) Infrastructure sectors covered by the 
                modernization effort include: surface transportation, 
                such as roadways, bridges, railroads, and transit; 
                aviation; ports and related infrastructure, including 
                navigational channels; water resources projects; 
                renewable energy generation; conventional energy 
                production in high-demand areas; electricity 
                transmission; broadband; pipelines; storm water 
                infrastructure; and other sectors as determined by the 
                Steering Committee.
                    (d) The following agencies or offices and their 
                relevant sub-divisions shall engage in the 
                modernization effort:

(i) the Department of Defense;

(ii) the Department of the Interior;

(iii) the Department of Agriculture;

(iv) the Department of Commerce;

(v) the Department of Transportation;

(vi) the Department of Energy;

(vii) the Department of Homeland Security;

(viii) the Environmental Protection Agency;

(ix) the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation;

(x) the Department of the Army;

(xi) the Council on Environmental Quality; and

(xii) such other agencies or offices as the CPO may invite to participate.

                Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this 
                memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise 
                affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the 
head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals, or the 
regulatory review process.

                    (b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent 
                with applicable law and subject to the availability of 
                appropriations.
                    (c) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent 
                with Executive Order 12898 of February 11, 1994 
                (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in 
                Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations), 
                Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000 (Consultation 
                and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), and 
                my memorandum of November 5, 2009 (Tribal 
                Consultation).
                    (d) This memorandum is not intended to, and does 
                not, create any right or benefit, substantive or 
                procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any 
                party against the United States, its departments, 
                agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or 
                agents, or any other person.

[[Page 30736]]

                    (e) The Director of the Office of Management and 
                Budget is hereby authorized and directed to publish 
                this memorandum in the Federal Register.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    Washington, May 17, 2013.

[FR Doc. 2013-12403
Filed 5-21-13; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3110-01