AASHTO Journal

FHWA Delays Greenhouse Gas Measure, Lets Most of Highway Performance Rule Take Effect

The Federal Highway Administration announced an "indefinite delay" of part of a wide-ranging rule for measuring and managing performance of the national highway system, saying it will initiate a separate rulemaking on provisions to measure greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

The FHWA's notice in the May 19 Federal Register also confirmed that the majority of that regulation – which is commonly known as PM3 – is effective on May 20, an effective date the agency had announced March 21. 

capitol0816.jpgThe regulation's full title is "National Performance Management Measures; Assessing Performance of the National Highway System, Freight Movement on the Interstate System, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program."

That rule and another on assessing bridge and pavement conditions on the National Highway System – known as PM2 – were among various regulations that had been pending when President Trump took office. His White House chief of staff ordered a freeze to all pending rules until the Trump administration had a chance to review them.

Matt Hardy, program director for planning and performance management at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, told the AASHTO Journal the latest Register notice and one from March 21 indicated that both the PM2 and PM3 regulations take effect May 20, except for the now-delayed part of PM3 on measuring greenhouse gas emissions.

In its May 19 Register notice, the FHWA said that "after further consideration, FHWA has also determined that the portions of the PM#3 final rule pertaining to the measure on the percent change in CO2 emissions from the reference year 2017, generated by on-road mobile sources on the National Highway System (the GHG measure) would benefit from further notice and comment procedures under the Administrative Procedure Act."

It added that the agency will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Register "in the coming weeks pertaining to the GHG measure. The effective date is delayed until such rulemaking on the GHG measure is completed."

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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