Talking Headways Podcast: A Tombstone for NEPA

This week we return to Rail~Volution for a talk with Diana Mendes, who leads the transit and rail practice at HNTB. Diana tells us about meeting the author of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), what needs to change about environmental planning, the early use of GIS, and the environmental planning process for the Lower Manhattan Recovery after 9/11.

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Environmental Reviews: Helpful (and Hurtful) to Many Ideologies

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Writing at the Heritage Foundation’s blog, Nick Loris says that the White House’s pending decision on whether to consider climate change in federal environmental reviews amounts to "more green tape." San Francisco’s newest bike lanes: made $1 million pricier by environmental reviews. (Photo: Streetsblog SF) Citing Republican senators’ concerns that existing National Environmental Policy Act […]

Senate Requires Environmental Approval For Stimulus Projects

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NEPA oversight should prevent the Garden State Parkway from being widened using stimulus funds. The final draft of the Senate’s economic recovery bill will require all projects funded by the stimulus to have approval under the National Environmental Protection Act, or NEPA. Sponsored by Barbara Boxer, the NEPA amendment (full text after the jump) was […]

GOP ‘Streamlining’ Plan Threatens to Clear a Path for Highways and Pollution

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The summary of the House Transportation Committee’s reauthorization bill – no legislative text has been released yet – includes several provisions for “streamlining” project delivery. While on its face, a little streamlining could help reduce excessive delays and bring costs in line, environmentalists are concerned that underlying the “streamlining” provision is a desire to gut […]

Transport Contractors Urge White House to Revamp Enviro Review Rules

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The trade group representing private-sector transportation contractors is urging the Obama administration to change the way environmental reviews are conducted for infrastructure projects, proposing to favor "categorical exclusions" (CEs) from federal review rules over the lengthier process of measuring the environmental impact of construction work. Environmental reviews added an estimated $1 million to the cost […]

Civil Rights Groups Rally Against Threat to Environmental Review

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A coalition of civil rights and environmental groups is crying foul over proposed changes to an important environmental protection as lawmakers attempt to hammer out a last minute deal on the transportation bill. The weakening of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, would disproportionately harm minority groups, according to a statement from The Leadership […]