WASHINGTON (Aug. 23, 2016) — A diverse group of 23 organizations, led by the American Highway Users Alliance, has told the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) they oppose any action by the agency to impose greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction performance requirements on state transportation departments and metropolitan planning organizations.
“FHWA lacks the authority to administer any GHG measurement and management requirement,” the group said in its Aug. 19 docket submission to the agency. The submission was in response to the FHWA's April 22 Federal Register notice proposing various new performance measurement and management regulatory requirements on highway users.
While the April 22 document does not include a GHG management performance requirement, the preamble states that the FHWA is considering such a requirement in its final rule, the docket submission said.
However, 23 U.S. Code 150 — the statute that sets forth the authority and goals of the FHWA — does not provide authority to the agency to create a requirement managing GHGs, and also limits the agency's authority to what the statute specifically describes, the docket submission said.
“There is no reference within 23 USC 150 to a GHG measure or even to a phrase that provides some authority to the U.S. Department of Transportation to designate additional matters that could be subject to measure,” it said.
Even if the FHWA were to claim authority to manage GHG emissions, it should not exercise that authority, the submission said.
“Our view is that the proposal would not result in significantly reduced GHG emissions, but would subject highway planners and engineers to new and burdensome regulations that slow projects at a time when the public wants to get the greatest possible benefit out of each transportation dollar,” it said.
Joining the American Highway Users Alliance in the docket submissions were organizations including the Tire Industry Association, the Auto Care Association, the American Trucking Associations, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.