By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory & legal issues, ARTBA

August is typically a month for vacations, including the ongoing recess of the U.S. House of Representatives, but ARTBA was busy this week filing regulatory comments on issues of importance to members and the transportation construction industry. The association filed eight comments related to five regulatory issues, including the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposals to improve the regulatory process, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Your association:

  • Supported EPA and the U.S. Army Corps’ of Engineers (Corps) efforts to withdraw the 2015 WOTUS rule through both individual and coalition comments.  Additionally, ARTBA, as part of the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) reminded the agencies that any new version of WOTUS must abide by limitations set by the Supreme Court in the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers case;
  • Supported legislation introduced by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) aimed at improving the Clean Water Act permitting process;
  • Supported an EPA proposal to increase considerations of costs and benefits during the rulemaking process as well as a proposal to increase transparency over the data used by agencies to make regulatory decisions;
  • Supported efforts by Nebraska to assume control over the NEPA process.  ARTBA has supported similar efforts by a number of other states, which have been shown to reduce delay in the project review and approval process; and
  • Recommended a number of changes to the NEPA process in response to a request from the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).