May 26, 2021
A Look at Infrastructure Permitting Reform Efforts, Past and Present
While debate on an infrastructure package is in full swing, there has been little focus on the opaque and costly infrastructure permitting process. In a new analysis, AAF’s Senior Regulatory Policy Analyst Dan Goldbeck reviews the challenges with the current permitting process by utilizing government data on paperwork requirements to estimate current time and monetary burdens. Goldbeck also considers some proposals in recent legislation that could serve as an example for reform.
His central points:
- With infrastructure becoming a primary political focus in 2021, it is worth considering not just the overall funding levels but also opportunities to reform some of the underlying administrative burdens involved in potential projects;
- According to quantified data made available by past reform efforts, the paperwork filings currently involved in many infrastructure permitting processes collectively add up to 30.4 million hours of paperwork and $1.6 billion in costs annually; and
- In the face of those and other burdens, lawmakers should consider further reforms to the infrastructure permitting process – including some recently proposed ideas – to increase agency coordination, accountability, and transparency.