Trump Touts Infrastructure Permitting Reforms

President Donald Trump during an address with industry stakeholders touted the administration’s recent aim at advancing infrastructure projects through environmental permitting changes.

Transport Topics By Eugene Mulero | Senior Reporter

August 25, 2020

At the 2020 Council for National Policy meeting Aug. 21, the president insisted that permitting reforms would help advance large-scale highway projects.

“To build a highway in this country, it could take, in certain places, 18, 19, 20, even 21 years to get approved,” Trump said. “This is not even thinkable. And we’ve got it now down to two, and we’ll have it down to probably one. And it may get rejected for safety reasons or for environmental reasons. That’s OK; it may happen. But we have it down — we will soon have it down to one year from as much as 21 years. We have cases that have just been disastrous.”

“We’ll have it down to one year to build a highway. You can do it all in one year. It doesn’t have to take 21 years and cost 100 times more. Literally, I’ve seen 100 times more,” he went on.

The administration took aim at the National Environmental Policy Act and announced a final rule meant to modernize and accelerate environmental reviews to enhance efficiency and affordability. The move would ideally facilitate a two-year period for completion of certain environmental impact statements. NEPA’s proponents say it plays an essential role.

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