33 U.S.C. § 2348 - Project acceleration

Cite as:33 U.S.C. § 2348
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-158 (08/14/2020)
 
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(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Environmental impact statement

The term "environmental impact statement" means the detailed statement of environmental impacts of a project required to be prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(2) Environmental review process

(A) In general

The term "environmental review process" means the process of preparing an environmental impact statement, environmental assessment, categorical exclusion, or other document under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) for a project study.

(B) Inclusions

The term "environmental review process" includes the process for and completion of any environmental permit, approval, review, or study required for a project study under any Federal law other than the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(3) Federal jurisdictional agency

The term "Federal jurisdictional agency" means a Federal agency with jurisdiction delegated by law, regulation, order, or otherwise over a review, analysis, opinion, statement, permit, license, or other approval or decision required for a project study under applicable Federal laws (including regulations).

(4) Federal lead agency

The term "Federal lead agency" means the Corps of Engineers.

(5) Project

The term "project" means a water resources development project to be carried out by the Secretary.

(6) Project sponsor

The term "project sponsor" has the meaning given the term "non-Federal interest" in section 1962d-5b(b) of title 42.

(7) Project study

The term "project study" means a feasibility study for a project carried out pursuant to section 2282 of this title.

(b) Applicability

(1) In general

This section-

(A) shall apply to each project study that is initiated after June 10, 2014, and for which an environmental impact statement is prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); and

(B) may be applied, to the extent determined appropriate by the Secretary, to other project studies initiated after June 10, 2014, and for which an environmental review process document is prepared under that Act.

(2) Flexibility

Any authority granted under this section may be exercised, and any requirement established under this section may be satisfied, for the conduct of an environmental review process for a project study, a class of project studies, or a program of project studies.

(3) List of project studies

(A) In general

The Secretary shall annually prepare, and make publicly available, a separate list of each study that the Secretary has determined-

(i) meets the standards described in paragraph (1); and

(ii) does not have adequate funding to make substantial progress toward the completion of the project study.

(B) Inclusions

The Secretary shall include for each project study on the list under subparagraph (A) a description of the estimated amounts necessary to make substantial progress on the project study.

(c) Project review process

(1) In general

The Secretary shall develop and implement a coordinated environmental review process for the development of project studies.

(2) Coordinated review

The coordinated environmental review process described in paragraph (1) shall require that any review, analysis, opinion, statement, permit, license, or other approval or decision issued or made by a Federal, State, or local governmental agency or an Indian tribe for a project study described in subsection (b) be conducted, to the maximum extent practicable, concurrently with any other applicable governmental agency or Indian tribe.

(3) Timing

The coordinated environmental review process under this subsection shall be completed not later than the date on which the Secretary, in consultation and concurrence with the agencies identified under subsection (e), establishes with respect to the project study.

(d) Lead agencies

(1) Joint lead agencies

(A) In general

At the discretion of the Secretary and subject to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the requirements of section 1506.8 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations), including the concurrence of the proposed joint lead agency, a project sponsor may serve as the joint lead agency.

(B) Project sponsor as joint lead agency

A project sponsor that is a State or local governmental entity may-

(i) with the concurrence of the Secretary, serve as a joint lead agency with the Federal lead agency for purposes of preparing any environmental document under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); and

(ii) prepare any environmental review process document under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) required in support of any action or approval by the Secretary if-

(I) the Secretary provides guidance in the preparation process and independently evaluates that document;

(II) the project sponsor complies with all requirements applicable to the Secretary under-

(aa) the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);

(bb) any regulation implementing that Act; and

(cc) any other applicable Federal law; and

(III) the Secretary approves and adopts the document before the Secretary takes any subsequent action or makes any approval based on that document, regardless of whether the action or approval of the Secretary results in Federal funding.

(2) Duties

The Secretary shall ensure that-

(A) the project sponsor complies with all design and mitigation commitments made jointly by the Secretary and the project sponsor in any environmental document prepared by the project sponsor in accordance with this subsection; and

(B) any environmental document prepared by the project sponsor is appropriately supplemented to address any changes to the project the Secretary determines are necessary.

(3) Adoption and use of documents

Any environmental document prepared in accordance with this subsection shall be adopted and used by any Federal agency making any determination related to the project study to the same extent that the Federal agency could adopt or use a document prepared by another Federal agency under-

(A) the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); and

(B) parts 1500 through 1508 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations).

(4) Roles and responsibility of lead agency

With respect to the environmental review process for any project study, the Federal lead agency shall have authority and responsibility-

(A) to take such actions as are necessary and proper and within the authority of the Federal lead agency to facilitate the expeditious resolution of the environmental review process for the project study; and

(B) to prepare or ensure that any required environmental impact statement or other environmental review document for a project study required to be completed under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) is completed in accordance with this section and applicable Federal law.

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