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Congressman Tom Marino

Representing the 10th District of Pennsylvania

Marino Introduces Legislation and Holds a Hearing on Permit Streamlining

April 12, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C.  - This week, Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) introduced H.R. 5468, the Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act and held a hearing on the legislation as Chairman in the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.

H.R. 5468, is bipartisan legislation that will streamline the federal permitting process by forcing federal agencies to take action on permit applications within a specified time period. If an agency fails to act within the time period, the agency is subject to a presumption that it has caused “unreasonable delay.” This presumption serves as a powerful incentive for agencies to conclude their permit reviews within sensible timeframes.

The bill sets a default time period of two years for permitting approval, unless a Presidential designee has decided on an alternative timeline. This will maximize investment and job creation with regard to new projects. Also included in the bill are important litigation reforms to ensure that approvals are not delayed for long periods of time in the court system.

At the hearing, several distinguished experts testified in favor H.R. 5468. E. Donald Elliott, a Professor at Yale Law School and Chair of the Environmental Practice Group at law firm Covington and Burling LLP, stated “I believe that this legislation is necessary to cure some of the abuses and misuses of environmental review and permitting litigation that have grown up over time in order to save environmental review so that it can perform its important mission.” William L. Kovacs, the former Senior Vice President for Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, commented that H.R. 5468 “…addresses the difficult questions of unreasonable delay in the federal permitting process.”

Congressman Marino issued the following statement regarding this legislation:

“Currently there is too much red tape and ongoing litigation that needlessly delay projects that can provide jobs and economic opportunity. The government consistently stands in the way of businesses and growth. My legislation ensures there is effective environmental review, but it sets a mandate that the review is timely and streamlined. 

“At the hearing on my legislation, it was clear from the witness testimonies that there is a pressing need for permit streamlining. Several of my colleagues on the Subcommittee also expressed their support for the legislation and the need to address permitting approval. I am hopeful that this legislation will quickly move through the House of Representatives.”