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

ARTBA reiterated its support for an agreement between Utah 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 June 16 comments, ARTBA wrote that “NEPA delegation for [categorical exclusions] in Utah offers the state a chance to improve the project delivery process by reducing delays and decreasing costs without sacrificing necessary environmental protections.”

ARTBA has supported similar efforts in California, Texas, Florida and Ohio. ARTBA’s latest comments were offered as a response to a renewed memorandum of understanding between Utah and FHWA regarding the delegation program.