The heavy construction industry for decades has raised concerns about the regulatory burdens that federal, state and local governments have inflicted upon construction companies and consultants for infrastructure construction projects. Earlier this week, President Trump signed an executive order eliminating many federal regulations for such projects.
Armed with a lengthy flow chart almost as tall as himself, the President outlined how preconstruction regulations could hold projects up for many years before finally getting approval. This delay in approval not only increases the costs of projects but also delays safe and efficient infrastructure for the American citizens.
Some of the details of changing regulations include: requiring agencies to work together and provide examples of their efficiencies through that process, reduces the federal jurisdiction put into place to expand the definition of “floodplain”, requires one federal agency to be the “lead agency” for the permitting process, and a 90 day deadline for all agency permitting decisions after a project review is completed, and many more.
The order builds on President Trump’s Jan. 24 directive to reduce unnecessary delays in the infrastructure project review and approval process. Specifically, it states that project reviews will be reduced to “an average of not more than two years” and also establishes a “One Federal Decision” concept to reduce multiple agencies from having conflicting review schedules.
This new executive order should relieve some of the regulatory burdens that MITA members encounter every construction season. While old habits are sometimes hard to break, we should see a culture shift in regulators on all levels of government. You can read the entire executive order at the following link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/08/15/presidential-executive-order-establishing-discipline-and-accountability
If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact Mike Nystrom, MITA Executive Vice President, at email@example.com or Lance Binoniemi, MITA Vice President of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org. They both can also be reached at 517-347-8336.