Coalition Letter on Resilience Provisions in STRA Act of 2021

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 3:30pm

Dear Chairman DeFazio and Ranking Member Graves:

As you mark up the “Investing In A New Vision For the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST) Act,” we the undersigned organizations applaud your focus on promoting resilience in our transportation system, especially by creating a pre-disaster mitigation program at the Department of Transportation. Hardening lifeline infrastructure will reduce risks ahead of the next crises.

 To further enhance those important provisions, we urge your support for adding the resilience provisions included in the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act (STRA) of 2021 approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last month.

The STRA Act’s strong approach to resilience contains the following important policies:

* Establish planning and implementation of grant programs for resilience and risk mitigation to reduce surface transportation assets vulnerability to the next crises. We are pleased that the bill contains eligible activities such as natural infrastructure that offers long-term opportunities to optimize resources and reduce risks and environmental impact.

* Call on states and other eligible entities to develop resilience improvement plans to demonstrate systematic resilience and help identify and plan for disasters and other emergencies going forward, including responses needed for disadvantaged or vulnerable populations.

Building smart, modern, resilient infrastructure has long been among the top priorities for communities and companies across the United States and is consistent with our policy priorities. Accordingly, we request your consideration of adding the STRA Act’s broadly supported resilience policies that will meet America’s infrastructure needs.

We stand ready to assist you as the legislative process proceeds.

Sincerely,

American Planning Association

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Society of Landscape Architects

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

City Parks Alliance

Ecological Restoration Business Association

Interstate Council on Water Policy

Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative

National Association of Counties

National Recreation and Park Association

The Nature Conservancy U.S. Chamber of Commerce

cc: House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure