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Tolling Points

The Return of Federal Earmarks?

By: 
Mark Muriello, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, IBTTA

Yesterday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee’s Chairman, Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced an invitation for House members to submit highway and transit project designations (a.k.a., earmarks) to T&I for consideration in the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation program.  Chairman DeFazio outlines broad guidance for project submissions, promising more detailed guidelines and submission deadlines later this month. 

Submission Guidelines: The broad process requirements for nominated projects is to submit evidence that they are included in state and metropolitan improvement plans (STIPs and TIPs), state and local letters of support, sources of funding for the full project cost, details of public input process, and environmental review status, among others.

A Need to Act Promptly: DeFazio’s letter to House Members stated:  “The Committee strongly encourages Members to begin gathering this information now, as we anticipate the window to submit project requests will be relatively short.”

What Toll Operators Need to Do: Toll operators will need to have their project nominations submitted through their representatives in the House of Representatives as the submission specifics are established later this month.  Traditionally, U.S. toll operators do not have all of their capital projects included in the state and local transportation improvement planning process.  IBTTA members interested in having projects earmarked within the surface transportation legislation should begin conversations with their state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, transit agencies, and other local transportation organizations to gain an understanding of eligible projects.  Projects being considered should be prepared to demonstrate their alignment with national policy goals of safety, access improvements, multi-modal system enhancements, carbon pollution reduction, environmental justice, and infrastructure state of good repair.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Mark Muriello at mmuriello@ibtta.org.

Newsletter publish date: 
Friday, March 5, 2021 - 01:00

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