ARTBA’s Nick Goldstein at an earlier 2019 hearing.

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

ARTBA Vice President of Regulatory and Legal Issues Nick Goldstein voiced the association’s views on wetlands mitigation regulations at a June 20 hearing of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) officials. The agencies are planning to update regulations governing wetlands mitigation.

Goldstein emphasized ARTBA’s support for mitigation banking. Mitigation banking is a conservation method particularly beneficial to the highway construction industry because it allows project developers flexibility in meeting wetlands restoration obligations by allowing choices based on environmental value, rather than proximity to a highway project.

Goldstein specified that the goal of updating current regulations “should be to protect essential environmental resources in as efficient a manner as possible.” He added, “once the rule is promulgated, Corps districts should work directly with the regulated community in developing all associated guidance and metrics.” Read his full statement.

The Corps and EPA have not yet published their proposed updates. When they do, the proposal will be open to notice and comment. At that time, ARTBA will study the proposal and gather input from its membership.