OMAHA, Neb. — Expediting the U.S. environmental review process for major infrastructure projects has been the focus of numerous efforts by states and the federal government. Environmental assessments and environmental impact statements can take years to finish, and finding efficiencies to expedite this review process can help important infrastructure projects remain viable while maintaining the needed emphasis on environmental protection.

In the latest interview from HDR’s Experts Talk interview series, senior environmental leads Diane Nulton and Taylor Horne describe the federal programs that states can use to expedite reviews and avoid a protracted, duplicative process. The interview has a particular focus on NEPA Assignment, which allows states to speed up the review process by assuming some responsibilities administered by federal agencies under the National Environmental Policy Act. While the application process can be daunting and states should be aware of potential challenges, these programs hold important benefits for states that are looking to expedite their major projects.

“One major advantage of these assignment programs is that they eliminate a step in the review and approval process, which means less paperwork and less review, revision and backchecking time,” Nulton said. “And any time you’re saving time, you’re ultimately saving money.”

Nulton and Horne have decades of experience navigating the NEPA process and have assisted multiple states in successfully implementing these programs. Their interview explains the options for states, the process, and important considerations that states should be aware of. Read their whole interview to learn more about expediting the infrastructure environmental review process.

HDR’s Experts Talk interview series shines a light on various aspects of transportation infrastructure design and delivery. Each subject matter expert offers unique expertise and insights about new and ongoing trends, emerging technologies and the human side of infrastructure.