There have been some recent developments on Capitol Hill. One such development is how ICPI has been lobbying Congress to adopt Appropriations language encouraging FHWA to conduct research on permeable pavements, and reducing barriers to adoption in integrating permeable pavements in federal Transportation use. ICPI was able to place PICP-friendly language on MAP-21. Those provisions remain in federal law. The House Appropriations Committee has recently adopted the ICPI Appropriations language in the House version of the THUD Appropriations Bill, which will fund FHWA funding for FY17. The language urges FHWA to accelerate research, demonstration, and deployment of permeable pavements. Further, it identifies two key areas for research that are critical to the expansion of PICP in the Transportation market. More.
Earlier this session, we reported that the Senate had adopted the same language in the Senate version of the THUD Bill. This has important procedural significance. Because the same language is in both bills, this makes it a virtual certainty that the language will be retained in the final vehicle that will fund the federal government activities for FY17.
This is a big legislative victory for ICPI. A special thanks goes to the ICPI members who made constituent contacts to Members of Congress and their staff to express constituent support for the ICPI language. This is a vital step in modern lobbying efforts.
The next step in the lobbying strategy will be to shepherd the ICPI language into the final funding mechanism to fund U.S. government operations in FY17. We have a high likelihood of success.
This legislation will clear the way for ICPI and ICPI members to propose to FHWA to engage work on PICP that addresses the issues sought with the ICPI language. This is an essential step in order for ICPI and its members to capitalize on the lobbying effort.
As you will note, the ICPI language focuses on two key areas in which there is market-limiting uncertainty regarding Transportation use of PICP: load testing use on shoulder roadways, and life cycle cost issues for all Transportation market applications of PICP. These issues have been identified by ICPI as problems that must be addressed, and transportation officials concur. While we await final passage of the THUD Bill, ICPI will be recruiting willing members to partner with their state/local DOTs to seek grants/conduct the work to take advantage of the language in the bill. Please do review the language at your leisure and consider whether your company might wish to collaborate with ICPI, your state/local DOTs and FHWA staff on the research identified in the legislation.
The relevant THUD Bill provisions appear below for your review. The ICPI language will appear in bold.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 2d Session
DEPARTMENTS OF TRANSPORTATION, AND HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2017
Mr. DIAZ-BALART, from the Committee on Appropriations, submitted the following REPORT. The Committee on Appropriations submits the following report in explanation of the accompanying bill making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017.
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides financial assistance to the states to construct and improve roads and highways. It also provides technical assistance to other agencies and organizations involved in road building activities… Funding is provided by contract authority…
The federal-aid highways program is designed to aid in the development, operations, and management of an intermodal transportation system that is economically efficient and environmentally sound, to provide the foundation for the nation to compete in the global economy, and to move people and goods safely. Federal-aid highways and bridges are managed through a federal-state partnership. States and localities maintain ownership of and responsibility for the maintenance, repair and new construction of roads. State highway departments have the authority to initiate federal-aid projects, subject to FHWA approval of the plans, specifications, and cost estimates.
Permeable pavements.—The Committee encourages the Secretary to accelerate research, demonstration, and deployment of permeable pavements to achieve flood mitigation, pollutant reduction, stormwater runoff reduction, and conservation. Projects may include roadway shoulder load testing and documenting life-cycle cost efficiency.