One Federal Decision
Executive Order (E.O.) 13807: Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects, was issued on August 15, 2017. It requires Federal agencies to process environmental reviews and authorization decisions for “major infrastructure projects” as One Federal Decision (OFD) and sets a government-wide goal of reducing, to two years, the average time for each agency to complete the required environmental reviews and authorization decisions for major infrastructure projects, as measured from the date of publication of a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.
On April 9, 2018, the Department of Transportation and several other Departments, including Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) implementing the OFD under E.O. 13807.
On September 26, 2018, OMB issued guidance for implementing a performance accountability system that tracks compliance with the OFD policy and related provisions of E.O. 13807. OMB will use the performance accountability system to publish a quarterly scorecard of agency performance in meeting the goals of E.O. 13807, and take each agency’s performance into consideration during budget formulation.
The Federal Highway Administration, Office of Planning, Environment and Realty worked with the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Services to develop a Written Agreement, committing to work together to achieve the E.O. goals. The agencies collaboratively developed a chart that outlines agencies’ processes, both with and without using Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL).
On October 3, 2018, the Associate Administrator of the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty sent a message to FHWA Division Administrators and environmental staff. The message contained a list of the activities that should be completed prior to initiating a new EIS for "major infrastructure projects" subject to the OFD process, in alignment with the OFD MOU and FHWA’s Working Agreement.
The CEQ and OMB jointly issued guidance regarding applicability of E.O. 13807 to State agencies that have been assigned National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) responsibilities under the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program administered by the USDOT. OMB and CEQ issued this guidance pursuant to Section 5(b)(iv)(C) of E.O. 13807, which directs OMB and CEQ to "develop guidance for applying One Federal Decision whenever the lead agency is a State, tribal, or local agency exercising an assignment or delegation of an agency's NEPA responsibilities."