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

ARTBA reiterated its support for an agreement between Ohio and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that allows state officials to make key environmental decisions on transportation construction projects.

A provision in the 2012 “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) surface transportation law grants states the right to assume responsibility for portions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process. In April 17 comments, ARTBA wrote that allowing Ohio to administer NEPA will result in $45 billion of estimated savings once the program is fully established, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. ARTBA also noted FHWA has described the program as saving time and money, “making it good government AND good business.”

ARTBA has supported similar efforts in California, Texas, Florida and Utah.  ARTBA’s latest comments were offered as a response to an FHWA audit of the Ohio program.