Lummis, Kelly, Johnson & Stanton Reintroduce Bill to Bring Highway Permitting Process Into the 21st Century

July 14, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), along with Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Greg Stanton (D-AZ) reintroduced the Interactive Federal Review Act. The legislation would direct the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to select a minimum of ten federal highway projects to demonstrate the use of interactive, digital, cloud-based platforms in carrying out the environmental analysis and community engagement processes required in FHWA projects. The bill would drastically cut down the time needed to repair our nation’s highways by allowing modern technology to make government more efficient and cost-effective.

“A streamlined environmental review process means Wyoming will see more shovels in dirt and less signs on the side of the road talking about projects being completed in the distant future,” said Senator Lummis. “More frequently and efficiently maintained roads means safer roads with less accidents and more people in Wyoming making it home safe. Asking the federal government to embrace modern technology should be a no brainer. It’s time for our permitting process to enter the 21st century.”

“Utilizing 21st century technology to speed up the environmental review process for transportation infrastructure projects maximizes the benefits of our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Senator Kelly. “Completing projects like widening I-10 and building I-11 without unnecessary and costly delays will fuel economic growth, strengthen our supply chain, and improve Arizonans’ quality of life.” 

“Environmental reviews are stuck in the ’90s and continue to delay critical infrastructure projects for years at a time, discouraging innovation and growth,” said Representative Johnson. “We need to take advantage of all opportunities to modernize and accelerate the review process. The Interactive Federal Review Act would do just that.”

“I’m focused on leveraging historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds for critical projects in Arizona–like expanding the I-10, a key economic corridor in our state, and building I-11. But the current environmental review process is slow and cumbersome, delaying completion and wasting taxpayer dollars,” Representative Stanton said. “Our bipartisan Interactive Federal Review Act will modernize and streamline the process while ensuring we stay true to the intent of NEPA.

Click here to view full bill.


  • Since the National Environmental Policy Act’s (NEPA) enactment more than 50 years ago, the time it takes to complete an Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) has nearly tripled.
  • According to FHWA, a typical EIS took 2.5 years on average to perform in the 1970s, 4.5 years in the 1980s, and about 5 years in the 1990s. A typical EIS process currently takes an average of 6.5 years to complete. 
  • FHWA considers the average project that takes longer than 5 years to complete an EIS process to be delayed, meaning the average project today is delayed.
  • The Interactive Federal Review Act would address one of the root causes of the delays of environmental reviews for infrastructure projects by moving the development of NEPA documents from trading static PDFs over email to interactive, cloud-based platforms. 
  • These digital tools are estimated to shorten the cumulative amount of time spent reviewing documents on traditional schedules for large projects by 50% through real-time, concurrent reviews by agencies and more transparency of the NEPA process for impacted communities and individuals.