Smart regulation has an important role in our economy, creating a level playing field for business while protecting public safety and the environment. A modern, balanced, transparent regulatory system gives businesses the confidence they need to hire, invest and innovate. As Utah’s business leader, we support regulations that encourage capital investment, remove uncertainty, improve transparency, reduce the burden on business and protect the public and the environment.
Many business leaders are rightfully concerned about regulation and its impact on the economy. Regulations can impose substantial costs on businesses, often with little or no demonstrable benefit.
As part of our efforts to support local, state and federal regulatory reform efforts that reduce the regulatory burden on business, remove outdated or outmoded regulations and provide data-driven checks and balances the Salt Lake Chamber signed on to support the Permit Streamlining legislation, known as the RAPID Act (H.R. 348).
Later this spring the full Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is scheduled to markup its version of Permit Streamlining. This is the first time we have a real opportunity to pass permit streamlining legislation in both Houses of Congress and send it to the President.
If this nation really wants to create jobs, it needs to get back to building things again.  To build anything, we must be able to secure permits.  This is why permit streamlining is so important.
The RAPID Act is designed to streamline the environmental permitting process in several important ways:
•  Coordinating responsibilities among multiple agencies involved in environmental reviews to ensure that “the trains run on time”;
•  Providing for concurrent reviews by agencies, rather than serial reviews;
•  Allowing state-level environmental reviews to be used where the state has done a competent job, thereby avoiding needless duplication of state work by federal reviewers;
•  Requiring that agencies involve themselves in the process early and comment early, avoiding eleventh-hour objections that can restart the entire review timetable;
•  Establishing a reasonable process for determining the scope of project alternatives, so that the environmental review does not become an endless quest to review infeasible alternatives;
•  Imposing reasonable fixed deadlines for completion of an EIS or EA; and
•  Reducing the statute of limitations to challenge a final EIS or EA from six years to 180 days.
We’re hopeful that Congress will move this Legislation forward.
However, this is just one step in reform a massive regulatory regime that effect every sector of our economy. Tell us what regulations are really impacting your business below or at action@slchamber.com