Webcast: Federal Infrastructure Permitting – FAST-41 Reforms and What’s Next on Capitol Hill

February 21, 2023

In this webcast, Gibson Dunn professionals and the current and former Executive Directors of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council discuss how the FAST-41 program can help major infrastructure projects cut through red tape and get shovels in the ground faster. For certain “covered projects,” FAST-41 requires all of the major agencies involved in the permitting process to coordinate their reviews, stick to a timeline, and be accountable for delays. It also reduces the NEPA statute of limitations to two years, down from six, for covered projects. We discuss the recent successes of FAST-41 and how more projects can take advantage of the program’s benefits. We also review recent legislative efforts to improve the federal permitting process and discuss opportunities for permitting process improvements in the 118th Congress.

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Roscoe Jones is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, DC office, co-chair of the Firm’s Public Policy Practice Group, and a member of the Congressional Investigations Practice Group. Mr. Jones’s practice focuses on promoting and protecting clients’ interests before the U.S. Congress and the Administration, including providing a range of public policy services to clients such as strategic counseling, advocacy, coalition building, political intelligence gathering, substantive policy expertise, legislative drafting, and message development. Roscoe spent a decade on Capitol Hill as a chief of staff, legislative director and senior counsel advising three US Senators and a member of Congress, including Senators Feinstein, Booker and Leahy and Rep. Spanberger.

David Fotouhi is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He practices in the firm’s Litigation Department and is a member of the firm’s Environmental Litigation and Mass Tort practice group. Mr. Fotouhi joined the firm after nearly four years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he served as Acting General Counsel, Principal Deputy General Counsel, and Deputy General Counsel. Mr. Fotouhi combines his expertise in administrative and environmental law with his litigation experience and a deep understanding of EPA’s inner workings to represent the firm’s clients in enforcement actions, regulatory challenges, and other environmental litigation.

Amanda H. Neely is of counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a member of its Public Policy, Congressional Investigations, and Litigation Practice Groups. Ms. Neely served as Director of Governmental Affairs for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and General Counsel to Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), as well as Oversight Counsel on the House Ways & Means Committee. She was the lead staff drafter and negotiator of the Federal Permitting Reform and Jobs Act, which became law in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021.

Christine Harada is a Biden-Harris Administration Presidential appointee who serves as the Executive Director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council. As Executive Director, Harada assists Permitting Council member agencies in managing a portfolio of nearly $100 billion in large-scale infrastructure projects—most of which are renewable energy, coastal restoration, and electricity transmission projects. She assists Federal agencies in developing and implementing comprehensive, project-specific timetables for all required infrastructure permitting reviews and authorizations for FAST-41 covered infrastructure projects, advancing the administration’s infrastructure agenda and the nationwide transition to a clean energy economy.

Alex Herrgott is a nationally-recognized infrastructure policy and project delivery expert. In January 2021, he created The Permitting Institute, which serves as a central resource and leading advocate for accelerating investment in rebuilding, expanding, and modernizing America’s aging infrastructure while preserving our environmental, cultural, and historic resources. He served as Executive Director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council from 2018 to 2021, and previously served as the Director of Infrastructure on the Council on Environmental Quality; Deputy Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; and Legislative Directorfor U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK).