On Aug. 19, Gene Barr, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber, joined the US Chamber’s senior vice president for policy Neil Bradley, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s CEO Council for Growth executive director Claire Greenwood, and Sen. Wayne Langerholc, majority chairman of the state Senate Transportation Committee, to urge the U.S. House of Representatives to approve bipartisan infrastructure legislation. The House will reconvene this week and may take up the legislation, which previously passed the US Senate earlier this month. The virtual event was covered by several media outlets, including PennLive and CNHI.
Gene Barr noted the legislation would further the Chamber’s Bringing PA Back economic recovery agenda, which includes infrastructure as a core pillar to position Pennsylvania for significantly improved economic competitiveness and enhancing opportunity for all.
Should the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act pass, Pennsylvania would receive $11.3 billion for roads and highway projects, $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repair, $100 million for broadband connectivity in underserved areas, $1.5 billion for drinking water projects, and $171 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The legislation also includes vital permit streamlining reforms. These include a streamlined process for major projects (above $200 million); a two-year goal for agencies to complete National Environmental Policy Act reviews (which in the past have averaged 4.5 years and in some cases more than a decade) and a codification of a Trump administration directive for federal agencies to make final permitting decisions within 90 days of the conclusions of environmental review.