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S. 3017 - Federal Permitting Reform and Jobs Act

Sponsor: Rob Portman (R)
Introduced: 2018-06-06
Bill Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
 
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Full Text


115th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3017


    To amend the FAST Act to improve the Federal permitting process, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 6, 2018

    Mr. Portman (for himself and Mrs. McCaskill) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs


A BILL

    To amend the FAST Act to improve the Federal permitting process, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Federal Permitting Reform and Jobs Act”.

SEC. 2. Federal permitting improvement.

(a) Definitions.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 41001 of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m) is amended—

(A) in paragraph (4), by striking “means” and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting “has the meaning given the term in section 1508.5 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the date of enactment of the Federal Permitting Reform and Jobs Act).”;

(B) in paragraph (5), by striking “Federal Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Steering Council” and inserting “Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council”; and

(C) in paragraph (6)—

(i) in subparagraph (A), in the matter preceding clause (i), by inserting “projects” after “infrastructure”;

(ii) by striking subparagraph (B);

(iii) by striking the paragraph designation and heading and all that follows through “The term” in subparagraph (A) in the matter preceding clause (i) and inserting the following:

“(6) COVERED PROJECT.—The term”;

(iv) in clause (i), by striking “(i)(I) is subject to NEPA;” and inserting the following:

“(A)(i) is subject to NEPA;”;

(v) by redesignating clause (ii) as subparagraph (B) and indenting appropriately;

(vi) in subparagraph (A) (as so redesignated), by redesignating subclauses (II) and (III) as clauses (ii) and (iii), respectively, and indenting appropriately; and

(vii) in subparagraph (B) (as so redesignated), by redesignating subclauses (I) and (II) as clauses (i) and (ii), respectively, and indenting appropriately.

(b) Permitting process improvement.—Section 41003 of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m–2) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a)(3)(A), in the matter preceding clause (i), by inserting “and the Executive Director” after “as applicable,”;

(2) in subsection (b)(2)—

(A) by striking “14 days” each place it appears and inserting “14 business days”; and

(B) in subparagraph (A)(ii), by inserting “completed” before “notice”;

(3) in subsection (c)—

(A) in paragraph (1)(B), by adding at the end the following:

“(v) A checklist—

“(I) to help project sponsors identify potential natural, cultural, and historic resources in the area of the project; and

“(II) the purposes of which are—

“(aa) to identify agencies and organizations that can provide information about natural, cultural, and historic resources; and

“(bb) to develop the information needed to determine the range of alternatives.

“(vi) In the case of a tiered project review, a description of the relationship between any applicable programmatic analysis and the planned tiered environmental review.”; and

(B) in paragraph (2)—

(i) in subparagraph (A)—

(I) by striking “As part of the coordination project plan” and inserting the following:

“(i) IN GENERAL.—In accordance with clause (ii) and as part of the coordinated project plan”; and

(II) by adding at the end the following:

“(ii) GOAL.—

“(I) IN GENERAL.—The permitting timetable established under clause (i) shall provide for the completion of the permitting process within 2 years.

“(II) EXCEPTION.—If the facilitating agency or lead agency, as applicable, determines that the permitting process cannot be completed within 2 years, the coordinated project plan under paragraph (1) shall include—

“(aa) the specific reasons why the facilitating agency or lead agency, as applicable, anticipates that the permitting process will take longer than 2 years; and

“(bb) the specific efforts that the facilitating agency or lead agency, as applicable, each coordinating and participating agency, the project sponsor, and any State in which the project is located will take to reduce the time needed to complete the permitting process.”; and

(ii) in subparagraph (F)(ii)—

(I) in the matter preceding subclause (I), by striking “or is at significant risk of failing to conform with” and inserting “or reasonably believes the agency will fail to conform with a completion date 30 days before”; and

(II) in subclause (I), by striking “significantly risking failing to conform” and inserting “reasonably believing the agency will fail to conform”;

(4) in subsection (d)—

(A) by redesignating paragraphs (1) through (3) as subparagraphs (A) through (C), respectively, and indenting appropriately; and

(B) by striking the matter preceding subparagraph (A) (as so redesignated) and inserting the following:

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The facilitating or lead agency, as applicable, shall provide an expeditious process for potential or current project sponsors to confer with each potential and identified cooperating and participating agency involved.

“(2) PROVISION OF INFORMATION.—Not later than 60 days after the date on which the potential or current project sponsor submits a request under this subsection, each agency that received such a request shall provide to the project sponsor information concerning—”; and

(5) by striking subsection (f) and inserting the following:

“(f) Facilitation of environmental review and authorization process of additional projects.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of a project that is not a covered project, on the request of an individual described in section 41002(b)(2)(B) or the project sponsor, the Executive Director may work with the lead agency and any cooperating or participating agency to facilitate the environmental review and authorization process in accordance with this subsection, including by—

“(A) mediating and resolving disputes;

“(B) promoting early coordination among the agencies; and

“(C) taking such actions as may be established pursuant to paragraph (2).

“(2) ESTABLISHMENT OF POLICIES.—The Executive Director, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, may establish policies and procedures as appropriate to carry out the facilitation under paragraph (1).

“(3) COOPERATION REQUIRED.—If the Executive Director is facilitating the environmental review and authorization process under paragraph (1), the lead agency and any cooperating or participating agency shall cooperate with the Executive Director to the maximum extent practicable.

“(4) SAVINGS PROVISION.—Facilitation of a project by the Executive Director under paragraph (1) shall not subject the project to any provisions under this title, other than as provided in this subsection.”.

(c) Coordination of required reviews.—Section 41005(b) of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m–4(b)) is amended—

(1) by striking “(1) State environmental documents; supplemental documents.—”;

(2) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) through (E) as paragraphs (1) through (5), respectively, and indenting appropriately;

(3) in paragraph (1) (as so redesignated), by redesignating clauses (i) and (ii) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively, and indenting appropriately;

(4) in paragraph (2) (as so redesignated), by striking “subparagraph (A)” each place it appears and inserting “paragraph (1)”;

(5) in paragraph (3) (as so redesignated)—

(A) in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking “subparagraph (A)” and inserting “paragraph (1)”; and

(B) by redesignating clauses (i) and (ii) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively, and indenting appropriately;

(6) in paragraph (4) (as so redesignated)—

(A) in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking “subparagraph (C)” and inserting “paragraph (3)”; and

(B) by redesignating clauses (i) and (ii) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively, and indenting appropriately; and

(7) in paragraph (5) (as so redesignated)—

(A) by striking “subparagraph (A)” and inserting “paragraph (1)”; and

(B) by striking “subparagraph (C)” and inserting “paragraph (3)”.

(d) Litigation, judicial review, and savings provision.—Section 41007 of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m–6) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a)(1)—

(A) in subparagraph (A)—

(i) by striking “the action” and inserting “the claim”; and

(ii) by striking “of the final record of decision or approval or denial of a permit” and inserting “of notice of final agency action on the authorization”; and

(B) in subparagraph (B)(i), by striking “the action” and inserting “the claim”; and

(2) in subsection (e), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking “this section” and inserting “this title”.

(e) Reports to Congress.—Section 41008(a)(2) of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m–7(a)(2)) is amended—

(1) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking “based on” and all that follows through “including” and inserting “, including”;

(2) in subparagraph (A), by striking “those best practices” and inserting “the best practices described in section 41002(c)(2)(B)”;

(3) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; and”; and

(4) by adding at the end the following:

“(C) agency compliance with sections 41003 through 41006.”.

(f) Funding for governance, oversight, and processing of environmental reviews and permits.—Section 41009 of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m–8) is amended—

(1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:

“(a) In general.—For the purpose of carrying out this title, the Executive Director, in consultation with the heads of the agencies listed in section 41002(b)(2)(B) and with the guidance of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, may, after public notice and opportunity for comment, issue regulations establishing a fee structure for sponsors of covered projects to reimburse the United States for reasonable costs incurred in conducting environmental reviews and authorizations for covered projects.”;

(2) in subsection (b), by striking “and 41003” and inserting “through 41008”; and

(3) in subsection (d)(3)—

(A) by striking “The Executive Director” and inserting “For the purpose of carrying out this title, the Executive Director”; and

(B) by inserting “and other projects under this title” before the period at the end.

(g) Sunset.—Section 41013 of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m–12) is repealed.

(h) Repeal of certain exclusions.—Section 11503(b) of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m note; Public Law 114–94) is repealed.

(i) Technical correction.—Section 41002(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m–1(b)(2)(A)(ii)) is amended by striking “councilmem-ber” and inserting “councilmember”.


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