By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA

ARTBA is supporting a proposal to change how National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews address greenhouse gas emissions.

In Aug. 26 comments to the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, the association wrote that expanding the scope of NEPA reviews to include such emissions analysis must avoid jeopardizing recent progress to streamline the process, which would threaten transportation projects with unnecessary delays.

ARTBA agrees with the council’s view that greenhouse gas analysis should not contain a “social cost of carbon” metric. “The open-ended nature” of such a consideration “could attempt to hold transportation projects responsible for emissions associated with development occurring after the project is completed,” ARTBA wrote. “Put another way, a new road could be held accountable for emissions coming from houses and/or businesses built along the road after it is complete.”

ARTBA will remain engaged with the council as it further examines the NEPA process.