As Alaska prepares to accept and implement billions of dollars of infrastructure funding from the federal government via the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) it is important that the state do everything in their power to ensure that projects supported by this legislation can be implemented in the most efficient and timely manner. Assuming the 404 dredge and fill permitting program of the Clean Water Act is a logical step forward in this effort.
Assuming responsibilities from the Feds is nothing new to Alaska. Some of the benefits to all Alaskans include:
- Setting infrastructure permitting priorities
- Delivering timely infrastructure projects that serve Alaska’s immediate needs (think about rural Alaska and funding they are receiving for sanitation projects and the need to implement these projects quickly- but being delayed by the need for a 404 permit to dig and install the systems)
- Using State of Alaska employees who are personally vested in respecting the environmental guidelines required by law and
- Providing opportunities for State of Alaska employees to have more career opportunities, thereby increasing employee retention.
AKDOT Commissioner Ryan Anderson outlines this concept in his letter below: