June 01, 2005

New U.S. Transportation Bill Could Roll Back Environmental Protections

In late May 2005, the U.S. Congress adopted its seventh short-term reauthorization of the “TEA-21” federal transportation law since September 2003, when TEA-21 expired. The law, which is renewed every six years, dictates how the majority of federal transportation funds are spent around the country. Conflicts among Congressional leaders and the White House continue to impede adoption of a new bill, with Bush aides threatening a veto of any bill over $284 billion. The Senate in May adopted a $295 billion bill by veto-proof margins.

“The Senate transportation bill would significantly weaken long-standing protections for clean air, public health, and protection of the environment, parks and local involvement in transportation decisions,” said Michael Replogle, Transportation Director of Environmental Defense and President of ITDP.

“There are a few bright spots in the Senate bill, such as new opportunities for toll-managed lanes, funding for storm-water cleanup and safe routes to schools for walking and biking,” he continued. “But the House bill’s approach to clean air, planning, project reviews, and protections for parks would do less harm to the environment and public health.”

For more information, visit https://www.environmentaldefense.org/go/tea3 

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