Alarm bells are being sounded as a rash of new or the return of more restrictive regulations are pursued by the Biden Administration that will undercut the promise of expanded infrastructure expenditures. Throughout the system, the balance between regulations vs. CIRT supported streamlining procedures is being waged; as for example, the White House proposed environmental regulations that would scale back Trump administration reforms and likely slow down future infrastructure projects.
The Administration announced important changes it was implementing that would affect how the federal government would go forward with respect to infrastructure work. Specifically, how it will once again enforce the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law requiring federal agencies to have environmental impact statements for infrastructure projects before approval. Essentially, Biden’s proposed rule would reverse the Trump Administration’s changed that were aimed at streamlining environment review to accelerate infrastructure projects. Critics were quick to point out that imposing the old approaches under NAPA would be counterproductive to Biden’s own infrastructure spending priorities being sought with passage of his ambitious $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Diane Katz is reported as having summed it up simply: “If you want infrastructure improvement, then why would you want to implement one of the primary sources (using NEPA as a vehicle) of delay and protracted litigation that kept these improvements from being made to begin with?”