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Policy Statement 427 - Regulatory Process for Infrastructure Development

 

Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on March 13, 2020
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on May 4, 2020
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 11, 2020

Policy

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;
  • Designer responsibility for providing complete information for review;
  • Implementation of procedures to swiftly and promptly reject incomplete or insufficient design submittals; 
  • Time limits for reviews and decisions on infrastructure projects; and
  • Allowance for reuse of previously completed and approved studies by a jurisdictional authority for the proposed infrastructure area of impact within a five-year timeframe.

Issue

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

Rationale

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


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