Press Release

Trucking Praises Reform to NEPA Permitting Process

Jul 15, 2020

ATA elevates infrastructure funding as industry’s top campaign issue

Arlington, VA – American Trucking Associations is praising the Trump Administration for finalizing a proposed rule to reform the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which will speed up the review process for critically-needed investments in our country’s roads and bridges.

“This is good news for truckers, the motoring public, our economy and the environment,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “It currently takes an average seven years for a highway construction project to get through federal permitting, which is counterproductive in the extreme. This cumbersome review process presents an enormous obstacle to modernizing our outdated infrastructure, contributing to more traffic congestion and the harmful emissions that come with it.”  

ATA notes that the trucking industry loses $74.5 billion every year to traffic congestion on the National Highway System, which equates to 425,000 truck drivers sitting idle for an entire year—emitting a staggering 67 million tons of CO2.

“Infrastructure investment is a surefire way to reduce our nation’s environmental impact, and this action by President Trump will help accelerate construction projects that reduce waste and result in a more efficient and resilient supply chain and transportation system for decades to come,” said Randy Guillot, ATA Chairman and president of Triple G Express and Southeastern Motor Freight.

“Of course, streamlining project approvals won’t matter if states don’t have the funding needed to plan projects and break ground. COVID-19 has caused a 14% drop in Highway Trust Fund revenue, widening the investment gap and hurtling us closer to the funding cliff,” said Guillot. “If Congress fails to act this year on its Constitutional responsibility, it risks derailing our economic recovery.”

As both President Trump and former Vice President Biden talk infrastructure on the campaign trail this week, ATA says road and bridge funding is the issue it’ll be tracking most closely as campaigns unveil competing policy platforms in the coming weeks.
“Truckers don’t outsource our responsibilities, and we’re asking Washington to stop outsourcing theirs to future generations and foreign countries. No more delays. No more borrowed cash from China. It’s time to pass a surface transportation bill and pay for American infrastructure now,” Spear said.