ARTBA blasted November 14 a proposed rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) which could greatly extend federal wetlands jurisdiction and permitting authority to include non-navigable bodies of water, including roadside ditches. Specifically, ARTBA stated “roadside ditches are not, and should not be regulated as, traditional jurisdictional wetlands since they are an essential part of any transportation improvement project and contribute to the public health and safety of the nation by dispersing water from roadways.” ARTBA also noted subjecting roadside ditches to federal permitting requirements could be self-defeating, as it could make ditch maintenance cost prohibitive and preclude timely actions to prevent roadside flooding-related safety hazards. ARTBA has consistently opposed federal efforts to expand federal wetlands jurisdiction in the legal, legislative and regulatory arenas, noting the unnecessary delay it would cause to transportation improvements without gaining any discernable environmental benefits in return. Read ARTBA’s comments.
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