WASHINGTON, DC (October 11, 2011) – Today, the Obama Administration announced the selection of 14 infrastructure projects around the country that will be expedited through permitting and environmental review processes, an important next step in the Administration’s efforts to improve the efficiency of federal reviews needed to help job-creating infrastructure projects move as quickly as possible from the drawing board to completion. This announcement comes as a result of the Presidential Memorandum. President Obama issued in late August at the recommendation of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Through the Presidential Memorandum, the President directed agencies to expedite environmental reviews and permit decisions for a selection of high priority infrastructure projects that will create a significant number of jobs, have already identified necessary funding, and where the significant steps remaining before construction are within the control and jurisdiction of the federal government and can be completed within 18 months. Below is the full list of projects selected by those agencies, which represent diverse sectors of the economy and combined will support the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.
As the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness has highlighted, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of federal permit decisions and environmental reviews is one critical step the federal government can take to accelerate job creation. While many of these review processes are not under the control of the federal government -- state, local, and tribal governments are partners in the effort, as well -- the Obama Administration is committed to reforming the federal permitting and environmental review process to ensure that it runs as efficiently as possible while continuing to protect the health and safety of all Americans, and to preserve opportunities for public participation in federal decision-making. The Administration will apply broadly the information gathered while expediting these projects to further improve the permitting process for all projects. And as part of the Administration’s commitment to efficiency and transparency, beginning at the end of November, the public will also be able to track the progress of projects under review through one central website .
14 Infrastructure Projects Selected for Expedited Review
Department of Transportation
Tappan Zee Bridge, New York
The Tappan Zee Bridge project will replace a deficient bridge that is a critical link in the regional transportation network. While the project is an ambitious one and construction will not begin for several years, improved coordination amongst multiple federal agencies will reduce the time needed to proceed from a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to a Record of Decision, potentially reducing the project timeline by multiple years.
The Crenshaw/LAX project will extend the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (LA Metro) existing Green Line light rail nearer to the Los Angeles International Airport and connect it to the Expo Line light rail. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is providing additional targeted technical assistance to shorten the approval time for this project by several months. In addition FTA and LA Metro will pilot FTA’s new streamlined risk assessment approach for major transit projects to ensure risks and associated mitigation measures are identified and addressed promptly.