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Trump Infrastructure Proposal Includes Permit Process Streamlining

Principles for President Donald Trump's infrastructure legislative proposal expected to be released Monday will include a promised focus on streamlining the federal environmental permitting process down to a maximum of two years for a wide range of projects that could include broadband, plus state block grants and federal matching funds, administration officials told reporters this weekend. The communications sector has been lobbying for an anticipated broadband title in the infrastructure package.

The Trump administration will propose shortening the environmental permitting timeline via a proposal to “create a lead federal agency” with authority over the process, “working with the permitting agencies” to reach a “collective decision,” an administration official said. The White House will propose delegating more permitting authority to state governments as long as they follow federal mandates. These measures could aid rollout of more communications equipment like cellphone infrastructure that industry believes will be in need for 5G.

The plan would commit $200 billion in federal infrastructure funding that would include $50 billion for rural areas via block grants to governors, aimed at encouraging $1.5 trillion in total new investments, administration officials told reporters Saturday. They spoke on the condition they not be named and that this information not be made public until now.