FHWA, FTA Issue Guidance on Late Review Financial Penalty

AASHTO Journal, 4 April 2014

The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration published joint guidance in the Federal Register this week that establishes the financial penalty against federal agencies that do not render a decision on a transportation permit, license, or other approval document within a 180-day timeframe.

The guidance stipulates that a reviewing agency (federal agencies of jurisdiction) must issue a decision on a given permit, license, or other review document within 180 days. If no decision is formally made in that timeframe, the reviewing agency is “subject to a rescission of funds of $10,000 or $20,000 per week until the reviewing agency renders a decision.” However, FHWA and FTA hold the authority to grant a “no-fault” certification in some instances when “the reviewing agency’s failure to decide was due to circumstances beyond its control.”

The notice states that the guidance was developed in coordination with reviewing agencies most likely to be impacted by this provision. The financial penalty provision is contained in Section 1306 of the current surface transportation bill, MAP-21. The notice in the Federal Register is effective immediately.

FHWA’s notice of availability in the Federal Register is available here.

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