March 19, 2015 12:00 PM, EDT

Senators Seek Permitting Reforms For Rail Projects

Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) have introduced the Track, Railroad, and Infrastructure Network (TRAIN) Act, which they said would streamline the environmental permitting process for rail projects.  

“This bipartisan bill will help ensure that burdensome federal regulations do not hamper investment and innovation in our nation’s freight and passenger rail industry,” Blunt said in a statement.

The bill, introduced March 18, would speed up the permitting process, something the federal government already has done for highway and waterway projects.

Unfortunately, important rail projects “languish on the vine year after year due to a relentlessly bureaucratic federal-permitting process,” Manchin said.

Sen. John Thune ( R-S.D.), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, is co-sponsoring the bill.