The complexity of the process by which federal permits are issued is of great concern to NABTU and its affiliates. By some estimates, a six-year delay in starting construction on public works, including the effects of unnecessary pollution and prolonged inefficiencies, costs the nation over $3.7 trillion[i]. This is unacceptable, and frankly, unsustainable.
To break ground on infrastructure projects, we first need to acquire the necessary permits. Unfortunately, businesses seeking to undertake major capital projects often must run the gauntlet of numerous separate agency reviews and approvals. That process is plagued by a lack of coordination, few deadlines, insufficient transparency, and litigation exposure as long as 6 years after securing required approvals.
A clear and reliable federal permitting process is critical to ensure large-scale, complex construction projects can receive the proper reviews in a timely and efficient manner. Therefore, NABTU was pleased that the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (PL 117-58) built upon the FAST-41 permitting reforms implemented in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (PL 114-94) with the inclusion of the NABTU supported bipartisan Federal Permitting Reform and Jobs Act. Coupled with the codification of One Federal Decision, these reforms will provide greater certainty, further streamline the process for approval of major infrastructure projects, and keep our members at work while ensuring the continued expansion of much-needed employment opportunities in the construction industry.