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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

House GOP bill would shorten infrastructure project reviews


U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) has introduced a bill that would amend the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The “BUILDER Act of 2021” would streamline environmental regulations that infrastructure projects must meet before they can proceed.

Although the NEPA law was passed to maintain strong environmental protections, the law has evolved into “an unproductive obstacle” that slows infrastructure projects from moving forward more quickly, Graves said in a press release.

"NEPA review is project purgatory, taking orders magnitude longer to study projects than the time needed to complete them," he said. "Our bill fixes this broken approach – while protecting the environment – and updates NEPA so it can fulfill its purpose and deliver to taxpayers the infrastructure enhancements, coastal wetlands restoration, flood protection and other improvements it currently impairs."

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said he supports the legislation.

"By approving needed infrastructure projects more efficiently, we can make our limited resources go much further while maintaining strong environmental protections," Sam Graves said.

The full bill can be read here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/15/2021