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

ARTBA staff Dec. 16 led a transportation industry coalition meeting with the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) and requested the withdrawal of a proposal to put new restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from transportation projects.

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) proposal is part of larger performance measures required under the 2012 “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) surface transportation reauthorization law. OMB is in the process of analyzing the FHWA’s final regulation before it is released to the public. The meeting offered the regulated industry one final chance to suggest changes to proposed rules before they are issued.

At the meeting, ARTBA reiterated its position from Aug. 19 comments that the proposal “exceeds both the authority of the FHWA and the intent of MAP-21.” ARTBA also reminded OIRA that neither Congress nor the administration sought emission measurements in the MAP-21 performance management process, and that such proposals were not included in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act surface transportation reauthorization law passed in December 2015.

Allowing the proposal to proceed, ARTBA warned, would undermine the spirit of cooperation in which MAP-21 and the FAST Act were passed and seriously endanger efforts at building a bipartisan solution to providing a permanent, stable funding source for the nation’s transportation system.