| Q&A: Modernizing the Federal Environmental Permitting Process

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Electric cooperatives work to improve the quality of life across all the communities they serve. But too often, infrastructure projects that would serve that mission are hampered by extensive delays and added costs from outdated federal environmental permitting rules, say NRECA experts.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Under a proposal that would modernize the National Environmental Policy Act, federal approvals and permits required to build and maintain electric infrastructure to assure affordable and reliable power would follow a stricter timeline and more streamlined process.

The reforms, advanced by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, would also make it easier for co-ops working to rebuild more resilient infrastructure following natural disasters to receive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

NRECA’s Janelle Lemen, regulatory issues director, and Bobby Hamill, legislative affairs director, discussed the importance of supporting NEPA reform and what it means for co-ops’ operations and bottom line.