On Dec. 4, President Obama signed the Fixing American Surface Transportation (FAST) Act into law. It is the first long-term transportation bill passed by Congress in 10 years. The FAST Act will increase funding for highway transportation infrastructure by about 11% over 5 years.
The highway reauthorization bill also included a stormwater management provision that the Water Environment Federation (WEF) helped draft. The provision directs metropolitan, rural, and statewide transportation planning agencies to improve the resiliency and reliability of transportation systems and reduce or mitigate the effects of stormwater on surface transportation. This provision is a significant step toward improving stormwater management in the early planning stages of surface transportation projects.
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), who was a member of the Conference Committee negotiating the final bill, included the stormwater provision in the FAST Act. Similar language originally was developed by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) with assistance from WEF and was introduced as the Highway Runoff Management Act in 2014 and 2015.