"Concerns are mounting over impacts of a possible federal government shutdown on critical infrastructure projects and permitting activities.
The White House has confirmed that certain permitting work overseen by EPA and the Department of the Interior would be impacted if a freeze were to go on for any meaningful period of time. Even if a shutdown is momentary, the preparation involved for the possibility of such an event can drain resources and time.
Lloyd Caldwell, a senior adviser at the environmental permitting firm Dawson & Associates, noted that agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers have to invest considerable time into planning for the event of a shutdown.
“They have been spending a lot of time preparing for this,” said Caldwell, who spent 40 years working with the Army Corps. “It takes them away, if you will, from the work they’d rather be doing.”
Congress has until Saturday to avert a shutdown. While senators have offered a proposal that would see the government kept open for a few more weeks, House Republicans have balked at that compromise so far.
If the government were to freeze operations for weeks to months, experts and advocates argue the situation could spur problems for both public health and the economy. Brief shutdowns have limited implications, but longer periods are more consequential and could lead to setbacks for infrastructure work overseen by the Army Corps, thrusting many projects into new territory and a place of uncertainty."