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

ARTBA has suggested several ways to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in order to reduce unnecessary delays for transportation construction projects.

In a Nov. 29 statement to the House Committee on Natural Resources, ARTBA detailed how the past four surface transportation reauthorization bills have tried to streamline the NEPA review and approval process. There has been progress in “cutting red tape,” but ARTBA noted several areas for further improvement. This includes integration of NEPA and the transportation planning process, providing clear timelines for NEPA objectives, and encouraging concise NEPA documents.

ARTBA specifically told the committee “[c]ontinuing to streamline the NEPA process for our nation’s infrastructure is essential in assuring the public the government is making every dollar spent of transportation go as far as possible without sacrificing necessary regulatory safeguards.”