June 25, 2012
As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on June 6, 2012
H.R. 4377 would amend the Administrative Procedures Act, the law that governs how federal agencies propose and establish regulations. Specifically, the bill would aim to expedite the review process required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for construction projects that are partly or fully financed with federal funds or require permits or approvals from federal regulatory agencies.
CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost $5 million over the next five years, assuming the availability of appropriated funds, as federal agencies would incur additional administrative costs to meet the new requirements imposed by H.R. 4377. Additional federal expenditures also would occur if agencies face legal challenges as a result of the bill’s implementation. In the long term, we expect that the bill could reduce the time needed to commence and complete some construction projects financed with federal funds. Expediting the time required to start such projects would generally reduce the total costs to complete them, but CBO has no basis for estimating the timing or magnitude of such savings.
Enacting H.R. 4377 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 4377 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.