Currently, infrastructure permit processing times in the US can delay construction for an average of 10 years, as opposed to an average of 2 years in Australia, Canada, and Germany. In an effort to quickly create more jobs, the Trump administration is proposing a program that would expedite the process so that work on infrastructure projects can begin sooner. Environmental groups are concerned that the proposal could lead to negative effects on the environment.
- Arbitration techniques already used in bankruptcy courts, may serve as a blueprint for getting infrastructure programs up and running.
- Infrastructure programs, which can be notoriously difficult to get underway due to regulatory hitches, may benefit from such mediation techniques.
- With an authority figure, available to mediate and proven arbitration techniques implemented, much might be done to alleviate EPA concerns and get potentially slowed infrastructure advances underway.
“Reuters reports an advisory council on infrastructure has proposed an arbitration-style pilot program to cut the lengthy permit processing time it takes to break ground on projects, without short-changing environmental standards.”