The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act was enacted on December 4, 2015. Title 41 of that act (FAST-41) established new coordination and oversight procedures for infrastructure projects being reviewed by federal agencies. FAST-41 is intended to:
- improve early consultation and coordination among government agencies;
- increase transparency through the publication of project-specific timetables with completion dates for all federal authorizations and environmental reviews; and
- increase accountability through consultation and reporting on projects.
FAST-41 established the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC), composed of agency representatives from the: Department of Energy; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce; Department of Defense; Army Corps of Engineers; Department of Homeland Security; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Department of Interior; Department of Transportation; Environmental Protection Agency; Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; Council on Environmental Quality; and the Office of Management and Budget. More information about FPISC can be found on the FAST-41 Permitting Dashboard at https://www.permits.performance.gov/.
To be eligible for FAST-41, a proposal must meet the definition of a “covered project” under the statute. A covered project is one that: (1) is subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); (2) is likely to require a total investment of more than $200,000,000; and (3) does not qualify for abbreviated authorization or environmental review processes under any applicable law.
To become a covered project under FAST-41, project sponsors need to submit a FAST-41 Initiation Notice (FIN) with information described in the FAST Act. Instructions for applicants to submit a FIN for their project are available at Becoming a FAST-41 Covered Project.
The FAST-41 Permitting Dashboard, including a list of covered projects, can be found at https://www.permits.performance.gov/projects.