The Council to Modernize Governance Highlights Permit by Rule: A Pathway to Streamlined Government Approvals

[Washington, DC, May 15, 2023]


The Council to Modernize Governance has issued a policy primer to highlight the benefits of “Permit by Rule” as a groundbreaking solution to expedite government approvals for various projects. Permit by rule offers a simplified process where permit applicants, known as “sources,” can certify their compliance with pre-set criteria, eliminating the need for extensive review and documentation.

The traditional approach to obtaining permits has become burdensome and time-consuming for both applicants and government agencies. Permit by rule aims to address this challenge by shifting the burden of proof from the source to the government. Once the source submits a notice confirming their adherence to the predetermined requirements, the default position is automatic approval and permit issuance, unless specific claims of non-compliance are presented by the government.

By adopting permit by rule, the government can achieve faster and more predictable permitting processes. This innovative approach streamlines procedures, reduces wait times, and minimizes arbitrary decision-making. It also optimizes the allocation of limited taxpayer resources, allowing authorities to focus on enforcing the substantive standards set by the government and certified by the source.

Recognizing the need for permitting reform, the Council to Modernize Governance has studied alternative models that could streamline the process. The bipartisan support for reform is evident, as representatives from both major political parties advocate for change.

Permit by rule has already proven successful at the federal level, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implementing this approach for certain activities. In addition, numerous states have embraced permit by rule for a variety of applications, showcasing its effectiveness and flexibility.

The Council to Modernize Governance believes that permit by rule offers a modernized and efficient pathway to government approvals. By reducing bureaucracy, promoting efficiency, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, this approach encourages economic development while safeguarding public health, safety, and the environment.

As the appetite for permitting reform grows, the Council to Modernize Governance urges policymakers to consider permit by rule as a viable solution. By studying successful state implementations and adopting best practices, federal authorities can achieve significant improvements in a current regulatory landscape that is both cumbersome and ineffective.

About The Council to Modernize Governance: The Council to Modernize Governance is a think tank dedicated to fostering innovation and improving governance processes. It serves as a platform for collaboration among policymakers, experts, and stakeholders to develop and advocate for modern approaches to governance.

For media inquiries, please contact: Curtis Schube, Council to Modernize Governance,

Read the primer


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