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States Look To NEPA Review Power To Spur New Projects

February 24, 2017, Law360

Gary Guzy is quoted in a Law360 article regarding the states’ ability to use the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program to expedite surface transportation improvement projects while waiting for President Trump’s infrastructure plan. “That’s very innovative and could be effective in avoiding duplication, facilitating more rapid permitting,” says Guzy. “It’s moving along.” 

“If [states are] going to be assuming federal responsibility for carrying out the environmental reviews and permitting, the concept of the law is they should be subject to the same kinds of judicial review in federal court as would a federal agency action,” Guzy explains.

Commenting on President Trump’s Executive Order allowing for expedited reviews for “high priority” infrastructure projects as determined by the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, Guzy says, “It empowers the chair [of the White House CEQ] uniquely, and it also recognizes that there’s opportunities for others to seek to nominate projects as high priority.” He adds, “What it doesn’t do is supplant the actual requirements. There are clearer set of deadlines for expediting actions, and [it] requires an explanation if a project doesn’t live up to those deadlines.”

 

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