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Rouzer, T&I Republicans Unveil Bills to Cut Red Tape & Increase Permitting Efficiency

  • 2023.06.22 Water Resources Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC - Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (R-NC-07) led Republican Members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in introducing multiple bills to cut red tape, streamline reviews, and provide greater regulatory certainty under Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting processes.

The Nationwide Permitting Improvement Act, introduced by Chairman Rouzer, streamlines the Nationwide Permit (NWP) process and maintains certainty for regulated entities involved in improving U.S. energy production, transportation infrastructure, and other commercial activities.

“Permitting delays are stifling important infrastructure projects across the country," said Rouzer.  "The Nationwide Permitting Improvement Act makes commonsense permitting reforms to keep projects on time and goods moving.  A predictable permitting process is imperative for building the infrastructure necessary to responsibly utilize our natural resources, unleash American energy independence, and improve our transportation network.”

As Chairman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, Rouzer has championed efforts to reduce red tape and deliver on permitting reform.  He helped lead the effort to overturn the Biden Administration’s overreaching WOTUS rule.  Rouzer secured permitting reform contributions in H.R. 1 to ensure America can build the energy infrastructure necessary to responsibly utilize our natural resources.  Earlier this Congress, he relaunched the bipartisan Congressional Supply Chain Caucus and hosted a caucus roundtable to discuss ways policymakers can alleviate permitting disruptions resulting in large-scale delays and economic loss. 

The Nationwide Permitting Improvement Act would:

  • Codify longstanding, historical interpretation and practice around NWPs and provides clarity regarding several areas where challenges have risen against the well-established process.
  • Extend the period of reissuance for general permit holders from five to ten years.
  • Clarify that when issuing NWPs, only the categories within the confines of CWA  Section 404 authority (dredge and fill material discharges) are considered.
  • Provide a clear, predictable process for good actors, including those providing fuels through linear pipelines.

The other bills cosponsored by Congressman Rouzer to clarify permitting reviews under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) are: 

Together, the measures include targeted, commonsense reforms to strengthen the permitting process for permit seekers and holders, as well as provide greater clarity for permitting agencies.