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Title: from enjoying improved infrastructure that would benefit

Title:
EO 13807 – Infrastructure Permitting & Environmental Review Processes

Date
Introduced: August 15, 2017     

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Sponsor(s):                

Committee(s):             

Date
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Executive Summary100 – 300 wordsOn
August 15, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Order 13807.
The purpose of this order was to improve efficiency in federal infrastructure
decisions by establishing discipline and accountability in the environmental
review and permitting process. The Order aims to further hold federal agencies accountable to a
two-year deadline for all federal authorizations for infrastructure projects,
including highways and transit, airports and ports, fossil, nuclear and
renewable energy, pipeline and water projects.The Order defines “major
infrastructure projects” as those which require both a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and multiple permits, approvals
and/or other forms of authorization from federal agencies, and for which
sufficient and reasonably available funding has been identified.The entire environmental review and permitting
process will be reviewed to improve performance across the government and
hold every Agency accountable. Under this order:·       The
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
will develop and implement an action plan to improve environmental reviews
Government-wide.·       The CEQ will mediate disagreements between Federal
agencies so a decision isn’t delayed amid bureaucratic disputes.·       The
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
will develop a two-year Government-wide modernization goal and ensure Federal
agencies take meaningful steps to achieve it.  ·       Agencies will modify their strategic plans to
include agency-specific goals for improving environmental review and
permitting processes, and hold their officials accountable.·       OMB will establish a performance accountability
system and score each agency on their implementation of the Executive Order. 
Poor performance will be considered in budget formulation and could result in
the imposition of available penalties.·       Agencies will also be held accountable for
implementing appropriate best practices that are proven to enhance the
environmental review and permitting process. What it DoesExecutive Order 13807
comprises seven sections.Sections
1 and 2 establish the purpose of the Order and the broad policy of the
federal government with respect to infrastructure. The primary purpose of the
Order described in Section 1 is “to change the way the federal government
processes environmental reviews and authorization decisions,” with this
section identifying the problem as “inefficiencies in current infrastructure
project decisions, including management of environmental reviews and permit
decisions or authorizations, have delayed infrastructure investments, increased
project costs, and blocked the American people from enjoying improved
infrastructure that would benefit our economy, society, and environment.”Section
3 defines the constituent references of the Order, including the meanings of
“authorization,” “CAP goals,” “Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC),” “Infrastructure project,” “Major infrastructure
project,” and “Permitting timetable.”Section
4(a) sets forth a series of recommendations and directions for Federal
agencies, including:   
i.        
Within 180 days
of the date of this order, the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget (OMB), in consultation with the FPISC, shall establish a CAP Goal on
Infrastructure Permitting Modernization, with the intent of:a.    
Making processes
“consistent, coordinated, and predictable” andb.    
Reducing the
timetable for environmental review & authorization decisions for “new
major infrastructure” projects to less than 2 years from the date of notice
of intent  
ii.        
All federal
agencies who partake of environmental reviews must alter their Strategic
Plans and Annual Performance Plans under the GPRA Modernization Act of
2010 to include completion goals pursuant to the CAP goal of the previous
section, and these completion goals should track to the personnel performance
reviews of agency employees.Section 4(b) further establishes
that the FPISC and OMB then have 180 days from the date of creation to
establish guidance for a ‘performance accountability system’ for their CAP
Goal; whatever system they create should be equipped to track all major infrastructure
projects in the US, with quarterly scorecards for each agency responsible for
major infrastructure projects, and the Director of OMB authorized to levy
penalties against those agencies in the event of non-compliance with this
Executive Order. Section
5 further explains Section 2, establishing a unified environmental review and
authorization process.  iii.        
One Federal
Decision: Requiring each major
infrastructure project to have a lead Federal agency, which shall be
responsible for navigating the project through the Federal environmental
review and authorization process, including the identification of a primary
Federal point of contact at each Federal agency. iv.        
Dashboard: All projects subject shall be tracked on the Dashboard
established under 42 U.S.C. §4370m–2(b).
Section
6 revokes Executive Order 13690 of January 30, 2015 (Establishing a Federal
Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and
Considering Stakeholder Input).Section
7 defines the general provisions of this Executive Order, stating that this
order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the
availability of appropriations.

 

 

 

Background
300 word s

Efforts
to streamline the permitting process for infrastructure have been underway
for several administrations. For example, on
December 4, 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was signed into law.
The FAST ACT was intended to improve the timeliness,
predictability, and transparency of the Federal environmental review and
authorization process for covered infrastructure projects. Title 41 of that Act
established new procedures that standardize interagency consultation and
coordination practices, and created a new entity – the Federal Permitting
Improvement Steering Committee (FPISC) – to help the process along. Title 41
(also known as “FAST-41”) further
created a new authority for agencies to issue regulations for the collection
of fees, which allowed the FPISC to direct resources to critical functions
within the interagency review process.
Executive Order 13807 (August 15, 2017) is intended to
further hasten the infrastructure approval process, and aims to hold federal
agencies accountable for infrastructure development by directing them to
adhere to a two-year deadline for all federal authorizations for
infrastructure projects (including highways and transit, airports and ports,
fossil, nuclear and renewable energy, pipeline and water projects).
EO
13807 further authorized the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to
mediate interagency disputes arising among Federal agencies concerning
Federal environmental review or authorization decisions for any
infrastructure project, except where dispute resolution processes are
otherwise provided for in law (such as in FAST-41).
Executive Order 13807
also revokes Executive Order 13690: Establishing a Federal Flood Risk
Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering
Stakeholder Input signed by President Barack H.
Obama on January 30, 2015.
That
Executive Order (13690) required federal agencies to incorporate climate
change considerations into flood risk management, and was intended to ensure
the resiliency of federal investments located in or near floodplains. The
Obama-era standard required that builders factor in scientific projections
for increased flooding and ensure projects could withstand rising sea levels
and stronger downpours. It required all federal agencies apply the standard
to almost all public infrastructure projects, from housing to highways.

Policy History
200 words

This
Executive Order was
signed on August 15, 2017.

Other related governmental
actions

H.R. 3354
(Interior
and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Commerce, Justice,
Science, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor,
Health and Human Services, Education, State and Foreign Operations,
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Defense, Military Construction
and Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development
Appropriations Act, 2018)
Sponsor: Rep. Calvert, Ken
R-CA-42
Introduced: 07/21/2017
This
bill includes a range of non-appropriations
provisions such as:

Permission
for the EPA to withdraw the Waters of the US provision
Continued
prohibition on release of Guantanamo Bay prisoners
Prohibition
on the IRS enforcing the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act
(aka Obamacare)
Prohibitions
on federal funding for Washington, D.C. policies supporting abortion,
marijuana access and needle exchanges
Drops
Planned Parenthood Title X funding
Continues
funding for Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository

S. 692 (Water
Infrastructure Flexibility Act)
Sponsor: Sen. Fischer, Deb R-NE 
Introduced: 03/21/2017
This bill passed in the Senate on October 5,
2017 and goes to the House next for consideration. This
bill amends the Federal Water
Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) to
allow municipalities to develop a plan that integrates wastewater and storm
water management. The bill establishes
an Office of the Municipal Ombudsman in the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) to provide:
·       Technical assistance to municipalities
seeking to comply with the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
·       Information to the EPA to ensure that agency
policies are implemented by all EPA offices.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science Modules

 

Relevant Science
 

Infrastructure in the
United States
The $18 trillion U.S. economy relies on
a vast network of infrastructure from roads and bridges to freight rail and
ports to electrical grids and internet provision. But the systems currently
in place were built decades ago, and economists sayDC1  that delays and rising maintenance
costs are holding economic performance back. Economists argue DC2 that robust investment in
infrastructure in the twentieth century set the foundation for the nation’s
strong growth in the aftermath of World War II.
Poor
infrastructure can impose large costs on the U.S. economy. In addition to the
threat to human safety of catastrophic failures like bridge collapses or dam
breaches, inadequately
maintained roads, trains, and waterways cost billions of dollars in lost
economic productivityDC3 .
The U.S.
population has more than doubled since the 1960s, when most of the country’s
major infrastructure systems were designed. Many are reaching the end of
their lifespan, and are dangerously overstretched, experts say. The American Society of Civil
Engineers (ASCE) has compiled regular “report cards” on the state
of U.S. infrastructure since the 1980s. In its 2017
report, the ASCE finds that the nation’s infrastructure averages
a “D,” meaning that conditions are “mostly below standard,” exhibiting
“significant deterioration,” with a “strong risk of failure.” The group
estimates that there is a total “infrastructure gap” of nearly $1.5 trillion
needed by 2025.
The
country’s rail systems are a mixed bag. U.S. commercial rail is among
the most developed in the world, moving nearly 40
percent of the nation’s goods, more than any other country. At the same time,
the focus on freight rail has relegated passenger rail to a lower priority.
According to the Department of
Transportation,
nearly a fifth of all passenger rail lines are in “poor condition.”
 
The
country’s water and energy systems are under stress. The Environmental
Protection Agency estimates that drinking water, wastewater, and irrigation
systems will require $632 billion in additional
investment over the next decade. Ports and waterways, which handle over
one-fourth of the country’s freight transport, face mounting delays. The operators
of the U.S. electrical grid are struggling
to make the necessary investments, and increasing power outages are costing
the economy billions of dollars.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Controversies &
Uncertainties
300 words

At the same time the White House issued
specific orders approving the controversial
pipelines, it issued Executive Order (EO)
13766,
which grants the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) chair general
authority to identify and manage streamlined permitting for high-priority
infrastructure projects. 

Rather than streamlining the review process, however, EO 13766 created confusion
about how that Executive Order would relate to existing efforts, including
the reforms under the FAST Act. 
Some of the efforts made by the White House to
streamline the infrastructure approval process could prove at odds with the
environmental integrity of the infrastructure projects in question. Further,
the refusal of the Administration to acknowledge anthropogenic climate change
has created conflict with most scientists and engineers. Climate change has already had
observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers
and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and
trees are flowering sooner. Effects that scientists had predicted in the past
would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice,
accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.

Endorsements &
Oppositions
200 words

Endorsements
At present, there has not been any publicly
reported endorsement of this bill.
Opposition
The revocation of Executive Order 13690 brought criticism
from several environmental non-governmental organizations regarding their
collective belief that enough is known to prescribe agency-by-agency,
government-wide regulation to combat long-range storm and flood threats due
to climate change:
·       Union of Concerned
Scientists,
August 15, 2017
“By
rolling back the updated federal flood risk management standard, the Trump
administration would be putting vital infrastructure that communities around
the country depend on in harm’s way. This executive order will raise the risk
of costly and harmful damages from floods. Additionally, taxpayer dollars
will likely be wasted through investments in projects that could be washed
away in the next storm.”
 
·      
Sierra Club, August 15, 2017
“This
order would result in an environmental justice crisis, similar to Trump’s
approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline, during which he silenced the
Standing Rock Sioux’s call for a full environmental review while keeping the
White House phone lines down. People fighting against projects like the Bayou
Bridge pipeline in southern Louisiana and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in West
Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina deserve to have their voices heard
over massive corporations, but Trump is slamming the door in their faces.”