Transportation Bill Leaves Unfinished Business

WASHINGTON – The Senate Environment and Public Works committee unanimously approved its portion of a surface transportation bill today, a measure that would make strong investments in bike and walking routes and introduce climate considerations. But, it also includes harmful provisions, including attacks on the environmental reviews.

The following is a statement from Deron Lovaas, a senior policy advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“While this highway bill is a necessary step forward, it’s far from sufficient to tackle climate change and reconnect communities. We need an infrastructure bill that meets the moment.

“It’s particularly galling that this measure includes attacks on environmental reviews, which guarantee that residents have a say in the projects that will define their neighborhoods and our nation for decades to come. We should be strengthening these reviews so we don’t repeat the past and have highways slash through communities of color and bring toxic pollution into these disadvantaged areas.

“As other committees in Congress consider their parts of an infrastructure package, they must complement this bill with big investments in transit, rail, affordable housing and other measures that address racial inequities and climate change."

For more on the changes and additional measures needed as this legislation advances, see this blog from Deron.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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