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The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced two rule changes that could reduce the permitting process for the department’s construction projects to two years. Both are effective as interim policies as of Aug. 23, but the department is accepting comments until Sept. 23.
The first policy change mandates that both draft and final environmental impact statements (EIS) prepared in order to meet National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements be limited to 150 pages — with the suggestion that they be kept to 75 — unless the project scope or complexity requires additional documentation. In that case, the rule would limit the number of pages to 300. While the new policies don’t mandate a page limit for environmental assessments, the DOT suggests that those be limited to between 10 and 15 pages.
The other policy change applies the processes and procedures developed as part of the One Federal Decision component of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13807 to DOT projects and requires that one federal agency be designated to usher each project through the environmental review and permitting process.