House Legislation Gives Green Light to More Construction Projects
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill to clear unnecessary red tape from pipelines, highways, and other federally funded construction projects passed the House of Representatives today. Congressman Kevin Cramer said the legislation will expedite the review process required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) while the same standards for approval are maintained.
The Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act addresses a permitting backlog by setting an 18-month maximum deadline for an Environmental Assessment and a 36-month maximum for an Environmental Impact Statement, empowering lead federal agencies to manage reviews more efficiently from start to finish, setting a 180-day deadline for lawsuits challenging a NEPA decision, and allowing the lead agency to adopt an environmental study already prepared under a state law that is substantially equivalent to NEPA.
“NEPA was never intended to put construction projects into study purgatory. This bill holds agencies feet to fire by setting deadlines, cracking down on lawsuits, and consolidating the work of multiple agencies while maintaining existing standards for permitting,” said Cramer.
The RAPID Act is supported by a cross-section of organizations including the Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Association of Home Builders, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Industrial Energy Consumers of America.