Pursuant to Senate Bill 743 (passed in 2013), the metric for analyzing transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) officially changed over on July 1, 2020 from level of service to vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Now, VMT is the standard for such analyses in nearly all CEQA documents, requiring agencies to implement sweeping changes in their approach to analyzing transportation impacts from major infrastructure and development projects. The following video excerpt from a recent Nossaman webinar on this topic provides a brief overview of these new CEQA guidelines relating to VMT.

For further details on this topic ...

Posted in Financing

On September 3, 2020, San Luis Obispo Regional Transportation Authority (SLO RTA) closed the first TIFIA loan under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (Department’s) Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Rural Project Initiative (RPI).  The SLO RTA manages several local and express fixed-route transit lines, as well as several paratransit and dial-a-ride services throughout San Luis Obispo County located in the Central Coast region of California.  The SLO RTA’s current administration, operations, and bus maintenance facility has ...

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FCC’s 5G Fast Plan Gains Momentum

5G provides reliable communications, enables near real-time interactions and has much faster data speed. 5G also provides the platform for the Internet of Things which can be utilized in improving public safety, autonomous driving, healthcare, education, smart cities, smart farming, home automation and many more.

On August 12, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld most of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s initiatives to expedite 5G deployments on existing local infrastructure. Specifically, the court upheld the following orders issued ...

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COVID-19 and the Future of Transportation in California

On July 23, 2020, the California Transportation Foundation convened a panel of transportation professionals for the webinar “Transportation Outlook: Moving Beyond COVID-19.”  The panelists discussed the impacts of the coronavirus and what the future holds for California’s transportation sector in the wake of the pandemic.

Below are key takeaways from the panel:

Adjusting to a “New Normal”

  • COVID-19 has significantly altered the way some Californians commute to work; remote work could become a permanent feature of the post-pandemic economy.
  • Transit agencies are ...
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FY21 Appropriations Bill Calls for Billions in Transportation Funding

The full House will consider the FY21 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill that the House Appropriations Committee approved with a final vote of 30-22 on July 14, 2020.  For FY2021, the THUD bill provides a total of $107.2 billion in total budgetary resources for the U.S. Department of Transportation, including:

  • $1 billion for National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER/BUILD);
  • $3 million to support the Highly Automated Systems Safety Center for Excellence;
  • $10 million for competitive Transportation Planning Grants to assist areas of persistent poverty; ...
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Posted in Water
Water Storage and Dam Management Strategies in Light of Climate Change Impacts

There can be little argument that many of the more than 90,000 dams in this country are in need of immediate attention. The catastrophic failure of two dams in Michigan last month following an extraordinary amount of rain in a relatively short period, highlights a number of issues:

  • More than 60% of dams in the United States are more than 60 years old. That means they were largely constructed using construction standards and techniques that are no longer consistent with modern requirements and standards, exposing these dams to  the potential for failure.
  • While many dams have been ...
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A Path to Transit and Transportation Project Success in the Wake of the Pandemic

Nossaman attorneys Brandon Davis, Liz Klebaner, Brad Kuhn and David Miller hosted a virtual panel discussion on June 3, 2020 covering strategies for successful infrastructure projects in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.  The panel covered procurement and contracting strategies; real estate and construction considerations; NEPA, CEQA and environmental compliance; and an outlook of environmental litigation under California and federal law. Below are key takeaways from the panel:

Procurement & Contracting Strategies

  • Now is the ideal time for agencies to take steps ...
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TxDOT Keeps Design-Build Projects in the Fast Lane

Like many other state agencies, Texas stay-at-home orders issued in response to COVID-19 have shuttered many TxDOT offices since mid-March. These orders have prevented TxDOT staff from attending meetings in person with colleagues, proposers and consultants, however, despite these obstacles, TxDOT has managed to advance several design-build procurements. Among other things, TxDOT has developed strategies to help the agency adapt to the current reality, including advancing processes that allow for electronic submission and evaluation of procurement documents and ...

WEBINAR: A Path to Transit and Transportation Project Success in the Wake of the Pandemic

For those of you involved in the transportation sector, we invite you to join us on Wednesday, June 3rd for a discussion on planning, procurement and financing strategies that can be implemented now to support timely project delivery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are planning a very interactive webinar where ample time will be set aside to answer questions received from attendees both prior to and during the event.

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Posted in Water
Senate Committee Clears the Path for Additional WIFIA Funding

Last week, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA) and Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 by a vote of 21 to 0. AWIA would authorize approximately $17 billion in new federal spending to invest in water infrastructure over the course of the next three years.

Two sections included in the AWIA confirmed the federal government’s continued support for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). If approved by the full Senate and the President, AWIA Title II Section 2014 reauthorizes WIFIA ...

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Nossaman LLP’s 30-plus infrastructure attorneys offer clients, colleagues, strategic partners, and industry media a wealth of practical experience, insider insight, and thoughtful analysis here on Infra Insight. We blog about what we know best, from industry-leading procurements to local and national policy developments that affect the market and our clients.

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