AASHTO Journal, 24 May 2013
President Obama released a memorandum last week that highlights an initiative to cut the timelines for major infrastructure projects across the country in half, which he will seek to do through cutting red tape and streamlining approval processes where possible.
“By cutting red tape and shaving months, and even years, off the time it takes to review and approve major infrastructure projects, we will be able to start construction sooner, create jobs earlier, and fix our nation’s infrastructure faster,” according to a statement from the White House on the matter. The statement went on to mention the President’s March 2012 Executive Order to improve federal review efficiency for infrastructure projects. “Since then, agencies have expedited the review and permitting of 50 major projects, including bridges, transit projects, railways, waterways, roads, and renewable energy.”
A steering committee will lead coordination with other agencies, as the memorandum stresses the importance of coordinating efforts with states to institutionalize best practices and process improvements, create process efficiencies, and engage stakeholders and the public.
The President’s memorandum made is available online here. Further details on the initiative are available in a Report to the President, titled “Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure: Cutting Timelines and Improving Outcomes for Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects.”