DENVER (1/25/17)--Following yesterday’s Presidential Executive Order expediting environmental reviews and approvals for high-priority infrastructure projects, Representative Paul Lundeen (R-Monument), lead Colorado Springs Representatives to deliver a letter to Governor Hickenlooper urging him to take “full advantage of the opportunities afforded by the Executive Order by requesting critical state transportation projects be designated high priority.”
The letter highlighted statements the Governor made in his state of the state address regarding transportation prioritization and mentioned the problems with delayed action stating, “when it comes to transportation infrastructure projects, time is money.”
“President Trump’s swift action to provide regulatory relief gives Colorado exactly the opportunity we need to expedite some critical transportation projects in this state,” said Lundeen. “I, along with the rest of the Colorado Springs Republican delegation am urging Governor Hickenlooper to seize this opportunity without delay and get the ball rolling on Colorado’s most pressing transportation projects as quickly as possible.”
Copy of letter and Executive Order follow:
January 24, 2017
Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects
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EXPEDITING ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS AND APPROVALS
FOR HIGH PRIORITY INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. Infrastructure investment strengthens our economic platform, makes America more competitive, creates millions of jobs, increases wages for American workers, and reduces the costs of goods and services for American families and consumers. Too often, infrastructure projects in the United States have been routinely and excessively delayed by agency processes and procedures. These delays have increased project costs and blocked the American people from the full benefits of increased infrastructure investments, which are important to allowing Americans to compete and win on the world economic stage. Federal infrastructure decisions should be accomplished with maximum efficiency and effectiveness, while also respecting property rights and protecting public safety and the environment. To that end, it is the policy of the executive branch to streamline and expedite, in a manner consistent with law, environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects, especially projects that are a high priority for the Nation, such as improving the U.S. electric grid and telecommunications systems and repairing and upgrading critical port facilities, airports, pipelines, bridges, and highways.
Sec. 2. Identification of High Priority Infrastructure Projects. With respect to infrastructure projects for which Federal reviews and approvals are required, upon request by the Governor of a State, or the head of any executive department or agency (agency), or on his or her own initiative, the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) shall, within 30 days after a request is made, decide whether an infrastructure project qualifies as a "high priority" infrastructure project. This determination shall be made after consideration of the project's importance to the general welfare, value to the Nation, environmental benefits, and such other factors as the Chairman deems relevant.
Sec. 3. Deadlines. With respect to any project designated as a high priority under section 2 of this order, the Chairman of the CEQ shall coordinate with the head of the relevant agency to establish, in a manner consistent with law, expedited procedures and deadlines for completion of environmental reviews and approvals for such projects. All agencies shall give highest priority to completing such reviews and approvals by the established deadlines using all necessary and appropriate means. With respect to deadlines established consistent with this section that are not met, the head of the relevant agency shall provide a written explanation to the Chairman explaining the causes for the delay and providing concrete actions taken by the agency to complete such reviews and approvals as expeditiously as possible.
Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(c) All actions taken pursuant to this order shall be consistent with requirements and authorities to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources and methods. Nothing in this order shall be interpreted to supersede measures established under authority of law to protect the security and integrity of specific activities and associations that are in direct support of intelligence and law enforcement operations.
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 24, 2017.