Summary of CEQ’s Environmental Permitting Tech & Data Summit
The first-ever Environmental Permitting Technology and Data Summit was held recently to discuss the use of software and other tools in enhancing the efficiency of environmental reviews. The summit, convened by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, aimed to modernize technology used in environmental reviews to meet President Biden’s clean energy and infrastructure goals. The Permitting Council announced a $25 million fund from the Inflation Reduction Act to modernize the permitting-related software and technology, reflecting the administration’s commitment to effective, efficient, transparent federal environmental reviews and permitting processes.
Efficient Environmental Reviews Discussed at First-ever Environmental Permitting Technology and Data Summit
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council convened a summit this week, bringing together environment and IT experts for discourse on enhancing environmental reviews via advanced software tools. The summit took place at the White House and the General Services Administration headquarters.
This all-of-government initiative comes as part of President Biden’s ambitious clean energy and infrastructure targets. The summit aimed to gather insights from federal and state officers, non-profits, academics, and industry leaders to inform the CEQ’s E-NEPA study, mandated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The discussions centered around innovative software deployments within government agencies, the requirement for more efficient review-enabling software, and future steps for the Biden-Harris administration’s tech modernization efforts for environmental reviews and other permitting processes.
The Permitting Council announced a $25 million funding allocation from the Inflation Reduction Act to modernize permitting-related software and boost innovation. This decision reaffirms the administration’s commitment to effective, efficient, and transparent federal environmental reviews and permitting processes. These initiatives will be guided by up-to-date scientific research, with an emphasis on positive environmental and community outcomes and significant public engagement.
A plenary session launched the summit, focusing on the use of data and technology to improve environmental reviews, and spotlighting two successful digital tool developments at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Attendees also had the opportunity to engage in cybersecurity discussions, explore shared services across federal agencies, and learn about funding and staffing permitting software programs.
A roundtable discussion was held in the afternoon, with Federal Environmental officers and Chief Information Officers exploring avenues to utilize digital tools for more effective and efficient environmental reviews and permitting.
Key Summit Participants:
- CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory
- White House Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation John Podesta
- White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu
- General Services Administration Administrator Robin Carnahan
- Permitting Council Executive Director Eric Beightel
- OMB Deputy Director for Management Jason Miller
- Founder of Code for America and former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Jennifer Pahlka
- Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s Deputy Director Lars Møller
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