Chao issues notice on federal regulatory reform for infrastructure projects

Updated Jun 15, 2017
President Donald Trump speaks on infrastructure.President Donald Trump speaks on infrastructure.

During President Trump’s closing “Infrastructure Week” remarks last Friday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the U.S. Department of Transportation has published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public input on ways to reduce regulatory obstacles the slow down infrastructure projects.

“We are so fortunate because this President is a builder, he understands the challenges facing our country’s infrastructure better than any national leader in recent memory,” Chao said. “The department has published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting comments from the public and all stakeholders on ways to improve government permitting; if you have any ideas, we want to hear from you!”

“The current process takes far too long,” she added. “Today, and all week, we have heard many recommendations from governors, mayors and other state officials who actually build things. A special DOT Task Force has already acted on what we’ve been hearing and identified dozens of ways to streamline the process.”

U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Jeff Rosen chairs the Department’s Regulatory Reform Task Force (RRTF), formed earlier this year in accordance with President Trump’s Executive Order 13777, which directs each agency to establish an RRTF to make recommendations to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens.

“This is part of a greater focus by the Administration to remain responsive to the needs of the public and industry, rather than pushing a ‘top down, government knows best’ approach to regulation,” Rosen said. “We expect this process will help us uncover ways to assist in better deploying infrastructure—ways we hadn’t even thought of.”

USDOT is requesting input because public and private project sponsors, engineering and construction professionals, related industry organizations and other transportation stakeholders are likely to have valuable direct experience with the department’s requirements. That experience supplements the expertise of department employees and may help identify when a requirement has become an unnecessary obstacle.

The comment period will be open for 45 days at this link.  All comments will be available in the public docket and available for public review.