White House looks to speed up infrastructure permitting process

President Obama will ink a Presidential Memorandum that the White House said will “modernize the Federal infrastructure permitting process, cutting timelines in half for major infrastructure projects while creating incentives for better outcomes for communities and the environment.”

By ·

The theme of leveraging infrastructure to spur economic growth was front and center in an announcement made by the White House last week.

That announcement was that President Obama will ink a Presidential Memorandum that the White House said will “modernize the Federal infrastructure permitting process, cutting timelines in half for major infrastructure projects while creating incentives for better outcomes for communities and the environment.”

The White House said in a statement that by eliminating red tape and cutting years off the time it takes to approve major infrastructure projects, construction will be able to start sooner with the subsequent benefits being the ability to create jobs earlier and more quickly fix the nation’s infrastructure. 

It also referenced President Obama’s March 2012 Executive Order for a government-wide initiative to improve the efficiency of Federal review and permitting of infrastructure projects which has since seen the expedition and permitting of 50 major projects for bridges, transit projects, railways, waterways, roads, and renewable energy.

This effort is very much in sync with the President’s infrastructure plan entitled “Rebuild America Partnership” rolled out in February that will attract private capital to build the infrastructure U.S. businesses need most.

One component of the plan is the “fix it first” policy, which he cited during February’s State of the Union address. This policy, according to the White House, calls for an investment of $50 billion towards U.S. transportation infrastructure, with $40 billion targeted to the most urgent upgrades and fixing highways, bridges, transit systems, and airports that need repair.

Speeding up the permitting process for infrastructure projects has long been a “to do” item in the Nation’s Capital. That was noted by Matt Rose, chairman and CEO of BNSF Railway at last month’s NASSTRAC Annual Conference, whom told attendees in his keynote address that the project permitting process can
take ten-to-12 years and be incredibly costly.

Fixing the nation’s infrastructure has been a core focus for the Obama administration.

And regardless of your political affiliation, there is truth in that statement. As an example, there is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided $48 billion to more than 15,000 transportation infrastructure-related projects. Other examples cited in a fact sheet released earlier this year include:
-American workers improving more than 350,000 miles of U.S. roads and replaced more than 20,000 bridges since early 2009 through Recovery Act and core infrastructure funds; and
-the Department of Transportation has built or improved more than 6,000 miles of rail, 40 rail stations and purchased 260 passenger cars and 105 locomotives.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh injection of equity investment is transforming the marketplace. At the same time, shippers may expect to see 3PLs continue to purchase high-tech “solutions” and hire young professionals for implementation.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service excellence finish line ahead of their competitors? Our readers have cast their votes, and now it’s time to introduce this year’s winners of the coveted Quest for Quality Awards.
BMW Takes the Inland Road to Efficiency
Global Logistics: No Shortcuts to Security
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...

LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...