West Coast Partnership Releases Proposed Project Standards

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LOS ANGELES — A partnership of three West Coast states and British Columbia has released for comment a draft of project standards to help select projects to support.

The West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, a collaboration between California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, was formed in 2012 to cooperate on financing public infrastructure projects through private investment.

The Exchange said it must first determine how to identify, measure and ultimately select such projects. To do so, the group on Tuesday released a draft called "Infrastructure Project Certification - Proposed Principles and Framework."

Once finalized, the principals will be used to help certify proposed projects.

The Exchange said it's seeking input from a diverse range of stakeholders, including investors, local government project proponents, labor, advisors, and contractors.

The partnership was launched by governors, treasurers, and infrastructure development agencies to address what it calls a daunting level of unmet infrastructure needs, many of which are of regional significance.

The projects would help a region facing an estimated $1 trillion in public works needs over the next three decades, the Exchange said.

"Meeting this need will require innovative project delivery and financing methods, including private sector investment," the Exchange said. "Yet, to date, the private sector has been hesitant to invest in public infrastructure because projects can be unpredictable and consistent standards are not always followed."

The proposed standards, which include responsible contracting standards and climate resilience, aims to address these concerns.

The comment period on the draft standards will last 30 days. Comments can be submitted via the West Coast Exchange website.

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