Friday Facts: Details of Manchin Permitting Reform

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(to be included in the Continuing Resolution)


Sec. 1. Definitions.

This section provides definition for the bill.

Sec. 2. Streamlining Process for Authorizations and Reviews of Energy and

Natural Resources Projects.

Topline Summary:

Based on existing law streamlining provisions enacted by Congress for transportation

projects (roads, highways, bridges, rail, and transit) that have been in the code since 1998,

expanded by Congress in 2012 and 2015 and most recently modified by the 2021

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). These provisions also make changes to the

“FAST-41” infrastructure law which was created during the Obama Administration (in title

41 of the 2015 FAST Act) and made permanent in the 2021 IIJA.

  • Sets a 2-year target for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews for major energy and natural resource projects which require a full environmental impact statement and reviews from more than one federal agency and a 1-year target for projects which require an environmental assessment. Also requires issuance of all other permits within 180 days of finishing the NEPA process.
  • Designates a lead agency to coordinate project reviews and expands the use of shared inter[1]agency environmental review documents and concurrent agency reviews.
  • Sets the 150 day statute of limitations for court challenges, requires random assignment of judges to cases consistent with current practice, and requires courts to set and enforce reasonable schedule (of no more than 180 days) for agencies to act on remanded or vacated permits.
  • Establishes dispute resolution procedures for resolving project disagreements without delays.

Sec. 3. Prioritizing Energy Projects of Strategic National Importance.

Topline Summary:

 Requires the President to designate and prioritize reviews for a list of strategically important

energy and mineral projects. Designation identifies these projects as national priorities for the

American public, energy producers and consumers, energy workers, and our international


Sec. 4. Empowering the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council

and Improving Reviews.

Topline Summary:

 Makes changes to the existing FAST-41 permitting law related to energy and natural

resource projects.


Sec. 1. State Certification under the Clean Water Act.

Topline Summary:

Specifies procedures for state certification that projects comply with applicable water quality


Sec. 2. Transmission.

Topline Summary:

 Expands an existing authority to give the Federal government increased permitting authority

for transmission lines found by the Secretary of Energy to be in the national interest, requires

the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to ensure project costs are allocated to

customers that benefit, and allows FERC to approve payments from utilities to jurisdictions

impacted by a project.

Sec. 3. Definition of Natural Gas Under the Natural Gas Act.

 Clarifies that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has jurisdiction to regulate

interstate hydrogen infrastructure in addition under the Natural Gas Act in addition to

interstate natural gas infrastructure currently regulated under the Natural Gas Act.

Sec. 4. Authorization of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Topline Summary:

Requires federal agencies to issue all approval and permits necessary for the construction of

the Mountain Valley Pipeline.