When the current highway bill* was enacted, it contained a provision that created FAST-41,** a new governance structure, set of procedures, and funding authorities to improve the Federal environmental review and authorization process for covered infrastructure projects.

The first annual Stakeholders Engagement Forum was held yesterday at the General Services Administration headquarters in Washington, DC.  The event provided officials with the opportunity to provide an overview of the FAST 41 structure, as well as to showcase the resources and services offered by the GSA’s federal Permitting Council, which has the role of streamlining the review and authorization of environmental permitting on large scale, complex infrastructure projects throughout the country. 

The Permitting Council is comprised of members of 14 Federal agencies, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Officce of Management and Budget. 

Leif Wathne of ACPA was present for the discussions and gained insights into the scope of the Permitting Council, as well as the scale of projects, which may be eligible to be covered under FAST-41 if they meet several criteria, including requiring investment of $200M or more.  ACPA will continue to track the Permitting Council’s activities to assess applicability to ACPA members, including benefits to transportation agencies across the country.

Photo:  Alex Hergott, Executive Director of the GSA’s Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, presents remarks at the first annual Stakeholders Engagement Forum.

*  Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015
** FAST 41 refers to the current surface transportation and Title 41, which covers public contracts and related topics. 

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