Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and six federal agency or department counterparts joined President Donald Trump in a meeting at the Oval Office last month to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) committing to the One Federal Decision framework for major infrastructure projects.
Under the MOU, the agencies aim to work together to make necessary environmental and permitting decisions and complete the entire process within two years. It compels them to establish a lead agency to navigate the Federal environmental review and permitting process; abide that agency’s permitting timetable; and, conduct necessary review processes concurrently. The MOU also automatically elevates interagency disputes with an eye to expedited resolution.
“The Department [of Transportation] has been vigorously implementing the President’s ‘One Federal Decision’ policy since last August to reduce costs and unnecessary burdens that have long delayed infrastructure projects,” said Secretary Chao. “It is essential for all Federal resource agencies to work together to cut red tape and deliver infrastructure and safety improvements more rapidly and spurring economic growth.”
“President Trump’s leadership on this issue is the reason we’re making strides to improve the nation’s crumbling infrastructure,” added EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “[The] MOU will streamline permitting processes and position EPA as a partner, not an obstacle, to making much-needed infrastructure improvements as quickly and safely as possible.”
PAST DOT CHIEF JOINS GRANITEROCK BOARD
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Secretary (2006-2009) and Federal Highway Administration Administrator (2001-2005) Mary Peters was elected to Graniterock’s nine-member board of directors at the producer’s 2018 shareholder meeting.
Secretary Peters, notes Graniterock Chairman Mark Kaminski, “has a long-standing reputation for leading innovation in our industry. As we look to expand Graniterock’s role in the improvement of California’s infrastructure, Mary’s insight and leadership will be a tremendous asset.”
“We are proud to welcome [her] as our newest advisor,” adds Marianne Woolpert, great granddaughter of Graniterock founder A.R. Wilson. “She is an outstanding leader and will contribute to our long history of innovation and excellence.”
Prior to her appointments within the President George W. Bush administration, Peters served as senior vice president and national director of Transportation Policy for Omaha, Neb.-based engineering giant, HDR Inc., and headed the Arizona Department of Transportation. Graniterock cites her track record of a) finding new ways to invest in road and bridge construction, including public-private partnerships to build roads faster and at less expense; taxpayer dollar stewardship; and, adoption of new technology to reduce construction time.