Infrastructure Investment & Permitting Reform on the Job

AGC member Marathon Construction hosts Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) for a project tour of the San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Restoration Project in San Diego, California.

On August 28, AGC member Marathon Construction hosted Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) for a project tour of the San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Restoration Project. AGC San Diego Board Member Mike Furby and his team, in association with AGC of America and AGC San Diego, focused on the need for increased infrastructure funding for projects such as this.

The project now topping $101 million is part of a larger $6 billion, 40-year project, which includes a set of transportation, environmental and coastal access projects undertaken by Caltrans and San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). The restoration encompasses approximately 154 acres of land east of Interstate 5 and adjacent to the San Dieguito River that will establish coastal salt marsh wetlands, associated habitats, and increased public access in the lagoon.

In addition to increased infrastructure funding, discussion also included the need for permitting reform. This particular project was delayed because of the extensive environmental review process. In California, projects—including this one—undertake the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process. However, because this project includes federal funding, it also underwent review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which, like CEQA, is also a lengthy process.

AGC urged Rep. Levin to join fellow California Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) and become a co-sponsor of the Expedited Federal Permitting for California Act (H.R. 4908). This bill would essentially allow states with more rigorous state environmental review laws, like CEQA, to satisfy NEPA. If H.R. 4908 were to become law, it would allow future projects such as this to go through CEQA, without the extra burden of NEPA.

AGC and Marathon Construction are grateful for the Congressman’s support of infrastructure funding and understanding of the need for permitting reform.

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