Photo courtesy HNTB.

Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA

Proposed guidance by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) could shave six years off the most comprehensive forms of environmental review for transportation projects.

Specifically, the guidance outlines a process for environmental impact statements —which can often stretch for a decade or more—to be completed in a maximum of four years.  Further, the guidance establishes deadlines for federal permitting decisions, as well as financial penalties for agencies missing those deadlines.

ARTBA has consistently advocated for both of these reforms, noting widespread support for reducing the amount of time involved in project delivery without sacrificing environmental protections.  ARTBA’s May 12 comments to FHWA and FTA congratulated the agencies for these changes and urged them to continue to aggressively implement all of the project delivery reforms contained in the 2012 “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) reauthorization law.  Read ARTBA’s comments.