Washington, D.C – November 4, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) offered an amendment to the highway bill that was approved by the House of Representatives via voice vote. The amendment would expand a pilot program that eliminates duplicative regulatory reviews of highway projects.
“We are all well aware that our need for highway infrastructure continues to outpace the resources we have available,” said Rep. Calvert. “Commuters are depending on Congress to come up with solutions, like my amendment, that can make more highway projects a reality by bringing their costs down and completing them more quickly.”
Section 1313 of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015 (HR 3763) establishes a pilot program that would allow States to conduct environmental reviews and make approvals for projects under State environmental laws and regulations instead of Federal laws and regulations. It’s expected that this pilot program will save highway projects time and money, while maintaining the same environmental standards.
The bill permits the State to designate ten local governments to administer local projects under this new pilot program. Rep. Calvert’s amendment would increase the allowable number of localities to twenty-five in order to allow more communities to take advantage of bringing down the cost and shrinking the amount of time required to complete highway projects.
The amendment was supported by the California State Association of Counties, local transit authorities and CalTrans was not opposed.