Major infrastructure developers received a notable holiday gift from Capitol Hill and the White House earlier this month with the December 4, 2015 enactment of the Highway Authorization Act. Title XLI of the Act promises to streamline both the authorization (license, permit, approval, etc.) and environmental review processes for covered projects.
To benefit from the Act’s streamlined process, an infrastructure project must (1) fall within a covered project category, (2) be subject to NEPA, (3) be likely to require a total investment of more than $200,000,000, and (4) not qualify for abbreviated authorization or environmental review under another statute. Covered project categories include:
- Renewable or conventional energy production
- Electricity transmission
- Surface transportation
- Ports and waterways
- Water resource projects not already covered under the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (33 U.S.C. 2348)