The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act was enacted on December 4, 2015. Title 41 of that act (FAST-41) established new coordination and oversight procedures for infrastructure projects being reviewed by federal agencies. FAST-41 is intended to:
- Improve early consultation and coordination among government agencies.
- Increase transparency through the publication of project-specific timetables with completion dates for all federal environmental reviews and authorizations.
- Increase accountability through consultation and reporting on delayed projects.
FAST-41 established the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC), composed of agency representatives from the: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce; Department of Defense; Department of Energy; Department of Homeland Security; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Department of Interior; Department of Transportation; Environmental Protection Agency; Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; Council on Environmental Quality; and the Office of Management and Budget.
More information about the FPISC can be found at www.permits.performance.gov.
To be eligible for FAST-41, a proposal must meet the definition of a “covered project” under the statute. As relevant to FERC, a covered project is one that: (1) involves the construction of a non-federal hydropower facility, interstate natural gas pipeline, or liquefied natural gas terminal that is subject to NEPA; and (2) is likely to require a total investment of more than $200,000,000.
To become a covered project under FAST-41, project sponsors need to submit a FAST-41 Initiation Notice (FIN) with information described in the FAST Act. Instructions for applicants to submit a FIN for their project are available at FAST-41 permitting dashboard. In addition to these instructions, project sponsors should file a copy of the FIN on the applicable FERC Docket for the project.
The FAST-41 Permitting Dashboard, including a list of covered projects, can be found at https://www.permits.performance.gov/projects.