NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

What's The EPA Doing In Highway Construction Policy?

April 2, 1999

Critics report that money and other assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency help sustain a network of activists eager to curb road building nationwide. The agency gives tax dollars to anti-car groups to strengthen an agenda which could actually increase traffic congestion and pollution.

EPA officials make no secret of their anti-highway bias.

  • The head of the agency's New England region said in a recent speech that the EPA has an "unwavering commitment to use the full force of environmental law to oppose or seek modification of those projects which -- by their very nature -- contribute to sprawl."
  • The official, John DeVillars, credited the EPA for stopping construction of two highway projects in New Hampshire as well as making efforts to stop another project in Connecticut -- if its demands aren't met.
  • Leading environmental groups like the Sierra Club oppose at least 44 road projects running through 20 states, including 14 in California.
  • At least 37 states have road projects facing some sort of opposition.

Besides funding anti-highway activists, another tactic the EPA uses to halt construction is repeated calls for more and more studies.

Meanwhile, Congress just 10 months ago passed a record, six-year $217 billion highway spending bill.

Source: Daniel J. Murphy, "EPA's Highway to Traffic Hell?" Investor's Business Daily, April 2, 1999.


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