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Peltola's new ports permitting bill

Mar 11, 2024
Alaska port

A shipyard at a port in Homer, Alaska. Photo: Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images

A new bipartisan, industry-specific permitting bill is out, and this time it's for the ports business.

  • Why it matters: Lots of cash is targeted at decarbonizing the ports sector. But as we told you last year, industry expects permits to be necessary to get the dough.

Driving the news: Rep. Mary Peltola introduced a bill last week to establish new ports-specific categorical exclusions at the Maritime Administration, a subagency of the Transportation Department that oversees sea shipping sites.

  • The Port Infrastructure Permitting Empowerment Act would require DOT to issue a proposed rule allowing categorical exclusion reciprocity between the Maritime Administration and other agencies at the department, with an eye specifically toward ports.
  • It would also require a proposed rule creating an "expanding" list of categorical exclusions for ports, per text of the bill that was shared with Axios.

Zoom in: The measure is cosponsored by David Rouzer of North Carolina, who chairs the House T&I subcommittee on water resources and environment.

  • It was introduced without any public announcements from the members, though a news release could be out as early as Monday.

What they're saying: "The PORT Act will get Alaskans into union jobs and shovels into the ground, just by simplifying regulations," Peltola said in a statement that her staff provided when asked about the bill.

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