Trump infrastructure task force suggests arbitration to speed projects

Permitting process could be reduced from 10 years to 2 years under the proposal.

April 12, 2017 |

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Infrastructure projects in the United States can take as long as 10 years to obtain all necessary permits after all issues, including environmental impacts, are addressed.

To speed up permitting, President Donald Trump's infrastructure task force has suggested using the bankruptcy court arbitration process as a model for a revamped approach. Developer Richard LeFrak, who serves on the task force, said under this model one person would be the final word on all project issues, like an arbitrator in bankruptcy cases.

LeFrak told Reuters that the advisory council is proposing a pilot program that would reduce red tape and halt litigation on infrastructure projects. The process would not allow developers to avoid environmental compliance, but would allow differences and objections to be addressed and resolved faster.

Australia, Canada, and Germany typically take two years to approve infrastructure projects compared with 10 years in the United States, LeFrak said.

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