US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross released last week the “Streamlining Permitting and Regulatory Burdens for American Manufacturers” report that was submitted to President Donald Trump.
The report, which gathered input from domestic manufacturers and industry stakeholders, identified 20 sets of regulations and permitting issues as top priorities for reform and immediate action.
“The current onerous and lengthy processes and inadequately designed rules add to an already overwhelming amount of government waste.” said Ross “This report is an important step in correcting the status quo.”
Three major themes were identified by domestic manufacturers and industry stakeholders in the report: duplication and lack of coordination between states and the Environmental Protection Agency; uncertainty related to the permitting process; and inconsistency in application and enforcement.
As recommended in the report, each agency’s Regulatory Reform Taskforce will review all relevant detailed comments received in response to the department’s request for information, deliver an action plan to the administration by January 31, 2018, and, provide regular updates to the president on the status of their efforts for the first year.
The Department of Commerce also recommends working with members of Congress to expand the definition of projects that qualify as “covered projects” under Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) to include: “projects the construction of which will result in a significant, immediate economic benefit to the United States.” Covered projects will typically enjoy better coordination, transparency of approvals, and expedited permitting.
The report also calls for Congress to incorporate procedures similar to those found in FAST-41 in other legislation applicable to manufacturing projects. Expansion within the FAST Act, or legislation modeled similarly to the FAST Act, will speed important economically significant manufacturing projects to market.
Commerce will also hold an annual forum with manufacturers to assess progress made in the area of regulatory reforms.
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