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

ARTBA has created a summary of the Trump administration’s proposals to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as guidelines for submitting comments before the government’s March 10 deadline. Download the two-page document.

NEPA was last updated more than 30 years ago. The statute is an essential tool for protecting the environment, but its outdated review procedures have delayed – sometimes for years – desperately needed transportation improvement projects while offering no tangible environmental benefits.

ARTBA believes the administration’s proposed changes will both reduce delays to key transportation improvements projects and maintain environmental safeguards. Transportation projects will still have to meet additional requirements of the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and other laws.

ARTBA will be submitting supportive comments to the docket, and members are encouraged to do the same. In drafting comments, please remember that the most effective “tell a story” is one of cost increases, delays, and jobs lost because of NEPA burdens. If possible, include examples specific to your firm or association. Avoid “cookie cutter” submissions, which are usually discounted by federal policymakers.

There will also be two public hearings on the proposal: Feb. 11 in Denver, Colo., and Feb. 25 in Washington, D.C.  See more details on these hearings.

Finally, while ARTBA is active in a national coalition to support this proposal, state-level coalitions are also being formed. Please consider joining such efforts.

For more information, please contact me.