Sens. Cruz, Cotton Introduce Bills to Reform NEPA, Streamline Infrastructure Projects

Senator Ted Cruz

‘Legislation that will loosen NEPA’s stranglehold on infrastructure permitting and allow jobs to flourish’

U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) today introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at reforming the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in order to streamline infrastructure projects.

The first bill, the Federal Permitting Modernization Act of 2021, establishes a series of deadlines for agency action under the FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act), which gives project proponents more control over the timetable and prevents litigants from unnecessarily holding up projects. This legislation is supported by the National Taxpayers Union. Read their full support letter here.

The second bill would dramatically shorten the timetable to file a petition for judicial review of a permit, license or approval of an infrastructure project from 150 days to 90 days. Sens. Cruz and Cotton previously introduced these bills in June of 2020.

Upon introducing the two bills, Sen. Cruz said:

“I am proud to introduce two pieces of legislation that will loosen NEPA’s stranglehold on infrastructure permitting, allow jobs to flourish, and projects to be completed in a timely manner. Now more than ever, we need a regulatory framework that will continue to protect our environment while also ensuring projects can operate without excessive government scrutiny.”

Sen. Cotton added:

“Keeping our infrastructure up-to-date is important for the economy and for keeping America competitive in the global market. Too often burdensome litigation causes our hardworking men and women to sit idle on jobsites as they wait on court processes. The reforms we’re incorporating in NEPA will expedite the often lengthy and onerous process so that Arkansans can quickly get back to work.”