Chavez-DeRemer: Introduces Bill Requiring Exhaustive Studies for Major Tolling

Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05)
News Release,

Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) has introduced legislation that would prevent any tolling project from moving forward until drivers and local communities have a complete understanding of its economic and environmental impacts. Specifically, the Tolling Transparency Act would require the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to conduct an Economic Impact Study – in addition to an environmental study as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – on any major tolling project, which would include projects like the Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 proposal in Oregon. Additionally, the legislation would grant the USDOT authority to block any tolling project that it deems would have an unreasonable and adverse impact.

“After the rushed and careless rollout of Oregon’s tolling proposal, I want to ensure no major tolling project can move forward until the public has an opportunity to understand the ramifications it would have on their communities. Oregonians have demanded and deserve transparency and accountability in this decision-making process, and that’s why I’m introducing the Tolling Transparency Act. Instead of enabling a rushed, top-down approach, my bill will inform drivers and help them have a voice,” Chavez-DeRemer said.

The Tolling Transparency Act would:

Require the USDOT to conduct an Economic Impact Study for any major tolling project. The study would analyze ways to mitigate tolling projects, as well as examine the project’s impact on:

– Businesses and communities,
– Traffic on county and city roadways from diverted traffic; and,
– Low-income residents and seniors.
-Prevent the implementation of tolling until the Economic Impact Study is complete.
– Grant the USDOT authority to block a tolling project if it would have “an unreasonable adverse impact.”

Full text of the bill is available HERE.

Recently, Chavez-DeRemer wrote to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Shailen Bhatt raising concerns that Oregon’s tolling proposal was out of compliance with federal law. Following the letter, Chavez-DeRemer and Bhatt held a call to discuss the impact the proposal could have on Oregon communities.

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