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Policy Statement 427 - Regulatory Process for Infrastructure Development


Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on March 14, 2019
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on April 28, 2019
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 13, 2019


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) urges the creation of strategies to expedite the decision-making in the regulatory process for infrastructure development at federal, state, and local levels. The goal is to allow critical infrastructure projects to proceed in a timely manner.

ASCE also recommends the following strategies to streamline the regulatory process for infrastructure development:

  • Designation of a lead administrative processing/permitting agency to shorten and improve the approval process and improve inter-agency collaboration;
  • Concurrent reviews of project documents;
  • Timely resolution of interagency conflicting purposes, goals, criteria, and objectives;
    Time limits for reviews and decisions on infrastructure projects; and
  • Allow reuse of previously completed and approved studies by a jurisdictional authority for the proposed infrastructure area of impact within a five-year timeframe.


Federal, state and local regulations that are intended to achieve beneficial individual goals may significantly delay approval due to conflicting stakeholder objectives and have a negative impact on the development and renewal of the nation's public works infrastructure. Stakeholder expectations and acceptable outcomes need to be identified early and integrated into the project effectively.


Inefficient regulatory approval processes preclude or delay investment and implementation of needed infrastructure improvements. Delays and changes in project scopes due to regulatory inefficiencies and uncertainties increase costs and adversely affect the economic, societal and environmental benefits of the project.

ASCE Policy Statement 427
First Approved in 1994