On Feb. 24, AGC CEO Steve Sandherr, along with other national business leaders, spoke at a press briefing on the need to streamline the environmental review process for projects that require federal approval in order to unlock American investment in modern, efficient infrastructure while advancing good environmental stewardship. On Feb. 25, AGC presented the same message at the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) public hearing on proposed regulations out for public comment that would update the rules implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The proposed NEPA reforms would set shorter timelines for completing environmental impact reviews as well as clear up ambiguous wording and definitions that have led to litigation and project delays over the years. It would also stop agencies from wasting time and money on redoing environmental studies or recreating existing data and introduce more accountability and transparency into the review process – all steps recommended by AGC in the prior comment period.
At both events AGC stated: “We can’t build a better and greener future if projects designed to make our economy more efficient and resilient are stuck in never-ending federal reviews.” AGC continues to remind the public and the press that under CEQ’s proposal, AGC contractors would still have to comply with every substantive environmental requirement currently in place.
The proposal has broad implications for many construction projects that require a federal permit or authorization, a federal land management decision, or federal funding. AGC will submit comprehensive comments prior to the March 10 public comment deadline; nearly 79,000 submissions have already been sent to the online docket.
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