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Bush, Gov Administrations Formalize Permit-Expediting Process

Sacramento, CA — The Bush and Schwarzenegger administrations have reached agreement on accelerating environmental reviews that state officials say will allow critical levee repairs to start in July and end by November first.

On April 21st, President Bush directed several federal agencies to speed up their reviews under the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Protection Act and other federal laws.

A memorandum of understanding signed Monday by the state and federal agencies formalizes the deal and adds detail. It sets out what is called a “critical path timeline” meant to “ensure completion of all regulatory processes” by June 21st.

State officials said Tuesday that without the agreement, it could have taken a year, or up to four years, to secure the permits necessary to begin the work.

The officials also said none of the accelerated reviews will undermine environmental protections.