By Brandon Ross
The Trump administration’s infrastructure plan will include reducing approval times for projects, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said.
Faster approvals will encourage private-sector investment in the country’s infrastructure, including ports, Chao said April 5 in a keynote address to the American Association of Port Authorities spring conference in Washington. Government red tape is the larger problem, rather than a lack of funding, as the private sector has plenty of money, she said.
“Investors everywhere around the country tell me that there is ample capital waiting to invest in infrastructure projects,” Chao said. “So the problem is not money. It’s the delays caused by government permitting processes that hold up projects for years, even decades, making them risky investments because of the uncertainty and the length of time involved.”
The administration’s changes will be environmentally responsible, Chao added.
“An important part of the president’s infrastructure plan will include common-sense, regulatory, administrative, organizational and policy changes,” she said.
Chao said one of the agencies the administration is looking at is the Corps of Engineers, which builds and approves harbor-maintenance projects and other water-related projects around the country.
“As we all know, the core operation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is essential to getting many infrastructure [projects] built,” Chao said. "[W]e’re thinking, ‘Is there a way to speed up the consultation and approval process with the Corps? Are there new technologies that can be deployed more rapidly and widely? Are we taking advantage of recent changes in the [Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act] that allow more flexibility in environmental reviews, permitting and project delivery without compromising the environment?
“We all want to protect the environment, we want to protect our skies, we want to protect our air, we want to protect our waters. But how do we do that but speed up these processes and maintain those goals?”
To contact the reporter on this story: Brandon Ross in Washington at bRoss@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)