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FAST-41 - Expedited Infrastructure DevelopmentCibola NF Communications Site


INTRODUCTION

On December 4, 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) was signed into law. Title 41 of this Act (42 U.S.C. § 4370m et seq.), referred to as “FAST-41,” created a new governance structure, set of procedures, and funding authorities to improve the Federal environmental review and authorization process for covered infrastructure projects.

Under FAST-41, federal agencies involved with environmental review and permitting of major infrastructure are directed to work cooperatively under the oversight of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC) to improve infrastructure reviews and decisions and to make those actions more transparent to the public through tracking on the infrastructure dashboard. The benefits of FAST-41 are increased visibility and predictability, enhanced coordination, increased accountably, enhanced legal protections, and dispute resolution.

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.

Federal Infrastructure Dashboard

The Permitting Dashboard is an online tool for Federal agencies, project developers, and interested members of the public to track the Federal government’s environmental review and authorization processes for large or complex infrastructure projects, part of a government-wide effort to improve coordination, transparency, and accountability.

FAST-41 Factsheet
Special Uses Application Process

A special-use authorization is a legal document such as a permit, term permit, lease, or easement, which allows occupancy, use, rights, or privileges of NFS land. The authorization is granted for a specific use of the land for a specific period of time. Special Use authorizations cover activities such as energy generation and transmission, transportation, communications, and water transmission.

Environmental Reveiw Cycle Site
Environmental Reviews

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Agency conducts environmental analyses to assess the nature and importance of the physical, biological, social, and economic effects of a proposed action and its reasonable alternatives. Conclusions are reached about the significance of the effects on the human environment. These conclusions about the significance of effects determine the levels of analysis and documentation.

The Forest Service is revising its NEPA procedures through an initiative called Environmental Review and Decision Making (EADM) with the goal of increasing efficiency of environmental analysis. This will help the Forest Service implement its core mission by increasing the health and productivity of our Nation’s forests for the benefit of all Americans, and in turn foster productive and sustainable use of National Forest System lands. The Agency’s NEPA procedures are a key component of its overall environmental analysis and decision-making process.

 

Additional References

For questions about agency FAST-41 projects please contact: Reginal Woodruff, USDA Forest Service Lands and Realty Energy Program Manager, via email or by phone: (202) 205-1196


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special_FAST-41.shtml
Last modified: Friday, 29-Mar-2013 17:40:31 CDT
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