By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs, ARTBA

In a startling series of administrative procedures, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Sept. 25 abruptly reinstated its requirement to track greenhouse gas emissions at transportation construction projects, just four months after suspending the measure.

The reinstatement follows multiple lawsuits filed by anti-growth groups that support the requirement as part of larger performance measures in the 2012 “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) surface transportation reauthorization law. ARTBA believes FHWA made the right call when it suspend the greenhouse gas rule, maintaining the measure exceeds both the authority of the FHWA and the intent of MAP-21.

However, the rule’s reinstatement may be only temporary. FHWA announced Sept. 28 that it has initiated additional rulemaking procedures proposing to repeal the measure. The agency anticipates a notice of the proposed withdrawal will be issued by the end of this year, with the goal of completing the process by spring.

ARTBA will work to ensure FHWA meets its schedule for the withdrawal of the greenhouse gas rule. The association will file regulatory comments supporting the action at the proper time.