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.
ARTBA and 11 other associations sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) July 2, 2015, alleging the agency disregarded important administrative law requirements and exceeded its jurisdiction when it released a rule defining “waters of the United States.” The rule would require additional burdensome permitting requirements and likely also 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.
In fighting in the rule in the legislative and regulatory arenas for nearly a decade, ARTBA has consistently warned EPA that roadside ditches play an important role in the public health and safety of the nation by dispersing water, and they should not be regulated like wetlands.
The new rule, however, did not categorically exempt roadside ditches from federal jurisdiction. Instead, the EPA set forth a myriad of qualifications for a ditch to be exempt from permitting requirements. Such a piecemeal approach, ARTBA noted when the rule was released in May 2015, creates confusion and delays. The case is pending.