This week, the House Judiciary Committee plans to mark up H.R. 5468, the Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA). Manufacturers support this bill, which would improve the permitting process by preventing unreasonable delays at federal agencies and accelerating the timeline to resolve lawsuits over permits.
A recent study conducted by the National Association of Environmental Professionals found that in 2016, the federal government issued 177 final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) under the National Environmental Policy Act and that these 177 EISs took an average of 5.1 years to complete. That is a significant amount of time for an infrastructure project to wait on a permit from the federal government. Over the past decade, Congress and the past two presidential administrations have worked to address what appears to be a growing delay in permitting times, but more is clearly needed.
H.R. 5468 would amend the Administrative Procedure Act to define more clearly when an agency’s delay in acting on a permit has become unreasonable. It shortens the statute of limitations for lawsuits to challenge final permits from six years down to 180 days, promoting a much more reasonable resolution time for permit challenges that require litigation.
National Association of Manufacturers supports H.R. 5468 and looks forward to working with Congress and the administration to improve the permitting process for manufacturers.
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