U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Rob Portman (R-OH) Wednesday introduced bipartisan legislation that would permanently authorize a program to allow for dedicated funding for review of permit applications with the Army Corps of Engineers for some infrastructure projects. Under current law, public utilities, natural gas companies, and railroads can provide financing for permitting reviews to potentially speed up the process, however the authorization for that financing mechanism is scheduled to expire in 2024. The Donnelly-Portman bill would permanently extend this authorization.
Donnelly said, “This legislation continues an available option for speeding up infrastructure permitting and provides the certainty that both private companies and the Army Corps of Engineers need to quickly review projects. I’m proud to work with Senator Portman to keep red tape delays out of the way of these needed infrastructure projects.”
Portman said, “There is bipartisan consensus that we must work together to rebuild our aging infrastructure. I’m pleased to work with Sen. Donnelly to introduce this commonsense bill that will provide certainty to infrastructure project sponsors and help speed the implementation of these projects. By making these cost-sharing provisions permanent, we will encourage more project sponsors and the Army Corps of Engineers to use this option and make the permitting process run more efficiently.”
Kelly Carmichael, Vice President – Environmental at NiSource said, “NiSource supports the legislation put forth by Senators Donnelly and Portman to provide permanency to this existing program, which allows us to plan for the critical energy infrastructure we are replacing and expanding to meet the needs of our customers. The timely and efficient review of permits for energy infrastructure is critical if the nation, and American consumers, are to reap the benefits of the historical growth in our nation’s energy supply.”