Department of the Interior

Eliminate Environmental Regulation Overlap

When a landowner or government agency wants to get a permit to dredge or fill a wetland, is it really necessary to have 4 or 5 government agencies review the project? I think a lot of times there is too much overlap in environmental regulation. The amount of government time spent reviewing the smaller scale impacts can be overwhelming and very costly when you consider the number of people involved in the permit review process, the number agencies involved, travel costs, and their salaries. This is even more costly when you have a government project that requires permit review from other government agencies.

There are several government sponsored initiatives across the U.S. to create, restore, and enhance wetlands, but when projects are proposed, they are sometimes subject to review by 2 federal agencies, 4 state agencies, and a local agency. The amount of money going into this overlap of regulation is extremely expensive when considering the amount of administrative and employee time involved.

As a federal employee, I think if we eliminate this overwhelming overlap of regulation for government projects that relate to special initiatives, we would be saving a lot of tax dollars on employee time, travel costs, and administrative costs. The leading agencies who are doing actual work on the ground for conservation should be exempt from the hoops and loops of this process. Only then money set aside for these initiatives will be spent putting projects on the ground and not be absorbed by the administrative processes. This idea is one that could improve efficiency while cutting costs.

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Idea No. 15914