One of the most valuable and tangible benefits of ARTBA membership is found in the association’s aggressive legal advocacy program.
From the halls of Congress to the halls of justice, ARTBA regularly takes action to defend transportation design and construction industry market interests when threatened by dubious regulation or litigation.
Since 1993, ARTBA has invested more than $1 million in environmental litigation on the industry’s behalf. And the return on that investment? ARTBA’s legal advocacy has allowed nearly $52 billion in approved, yet challenged, U.S. transportation projects and plans to move forward.
In 2015, ARTBA and a group of allied associations sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), alleging the agency disregarded important administrative law requirements and exceeded its jurisdiction when it released a rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) The rule have would have extended federal Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction over roadside ditches, requiring additional burdensome permitting requirements with no environmental value. The rule also likely would be used as a litigation tool by project opponents, both of which would result in delays to key transportation improvements and ultimately cost taxpayers more money.
Since 2015, ARTBA and our allies achieved a number of victories in the litigation, including blocking the WOTUS rule in nearly 30 states, having two separate federal courts declare the rule invalid, and also ensuring CWA complaints are heard at the district (as opposed to the appellate) court level, closer to where the regulation impacts local projects and landowners. Also, proceedings that begin in district court have more possibilities for appeal.
On June 22, the Trump administration’s “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” (NWPS)took effect in all states except Colorado. The rule officially replaces WOTUS and exempts most highway ditches from federal jurisdiction. The same Anti-growth groups who were defending WOTUS immediately sought to have NWPS struck down in the courts. The rule has survived an attempt at a nationwide stay, but litigation is still ongoing.
05/28/19 – Southern District of Texas Ruling on WOTUS
11/01/16 – Opening Brief of ARTBA and Industry Allies
11/01/16 – Appendix for ARTBA and Industry Allies Opening Brief
07/02/15 – Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
06/19/20 – Federal District Court Order Denying Preliminary Injunction of NWPR