WASHINGTON, August 16, 2017 —President Donald Trump on Monday signed a new executive order to streamline the nation’s infrastructure permitting processes.The order, which Trump signed during a ceremony at his New York City residence, will “ensure that the Federal environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects is coordinated, predictable, and transparent.”
Major infrastructure projects — which the order defines as including broadband internet — will be assigned a lead federal agency that will be responsible for shepherding the project through the environmental review and permitting process, and will ensure that major authorization decisions for new construction will be completed within 90 days.
“My administration is working every day to deliver the world-class infrastructure that our people deserve and, frankly, that our country deserves,” Trump said. “That’s why I just signed a new executive order to dramatically reform the nation’s badly broken infrastructure permitting process.”
Trump noted that while it took 11 months to build the Empire State Building — which sits blocks away from his Trump Tower penthouse — some permitting processes can take many years.
Trump also said that the order signed Tuesday will bring the permitting wait times down to less than two years.
“This is going to happen quickly,” he said, adding that the United States currently has infrastructure on the same level as a third world country, but that his order will change that.
“Our infrastructure will again be the best, and we will restore the pride in our communities, our nation, and all over the United States we’ll be proud again,” he said.
When asked if he thought Congress could pass an infrastructure bill, Trump suggested that such a bill could pass with support from Congressional Democrats.
“[I]nfrastructure is something that I think we’ll have bipartisan support on,” he said. “I actually think Democrats will go along with the infrastructure.”