It is widely known in the industry that it takes longer to get approval for a project than it does to finish construction on the project. This often results in costly delays, especially on larger projects where it takes years to get approval. Fortunately, needed legislation has arrived to speed up the permitting process.
Below, a Ft. Myers construction lawyer at Cotney Construction Law discusses our country’s ploddingly slow permitting process and what lawmakers are doing to cut through the red tape. If ever you need assistance navigating the permitting process, consult the team of Ft. Myers construction lawyers from Cotney Construction Law
A Stagnant Process
President Donald Trump addressed the stagnant permitting process in his State of the Union Address. “America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just one year. Isn’t it a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a minor permit approved for the building of a simple road?”
President Trump isn’t far off in his statement. The Federal Highway Administration found that the average time to complete the review and permitting processes required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was an incredible 6.6 years in 2011. With cash flow issues a common occurrence in this industry, you have to ask yourself: Can I really afford to wait over six years for a project to get off the ground?
Related: Preventing Cash Flow Issues
New Policies From the Transportation Department
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a notice announcing two new interim policies, one of which sets a page limit for NEPA documents. The new page limit is 150 pages; however, it is recommended that page limits do not exceed 75. Consult a Ft. Myers construction attorney to discuss possible exceptions to this page limit.
Related: Stopping the Infrastructure Crisis
The other policy stipulates that “projects should have one lead Federal agency to navigate the project through the environmental review and authorization process.” The goal as stated in the DOT’s notice is to have “major infrastructure projects” approved in two years. Policies like these are needed to make the review process reasonable and ensure that only important items are being reviewed. With any luck, they will provide construction companies the leeway needed to move forward with major projects and improve our country’s failing infrastructure.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.