- Congress has finalized an approximate $300 billion transportation bill that will increase spending for roads and transit systems each year.
- The bill will establish a limited truck waiver for natural gas vehicles, including refuse trucks, and will also make changes to the federal Compliance Safety Accountability program, which impacts haulers, according to SWANA CEO David Biderman. "Specifically, it will remove from public view certain CSA scoring by the federal government," he explained.
- The long-sought bill will be voted on by the House and Senate later this week. If passed, it will head to the White House a signature from President Obama.
This bill holds a level of high importance for the waste and recycling industry, as the industry depends on transportation infrastructure to complete daily operations.
"I’m proud. I’m relieved. We are in dire need of this," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, the ranking minority party member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, to The Washington Post.
America’s Infrastructure Alliance President Jeff Loveng echoed Sen. Boxer's relief. "This vital piece of legislation provides much-needed long-term certainty and flexibility for state and local governments and puts a renewed focus on the national transportation projects that allow Americans to move and our economy to thrive," he said to The Hill. "We have waited a long time for our congressional leaders to make transportation infrastructure a national priority and it appears that it has been worth the wait."
Biderman told Waste Dive that SWANA will send an advocacy alert to its members regarding the bill and its several provisions of importance for the waste sector. He notes that the limited truck weight waiver for natural gas vehicles will likely increase the expansion of CNG trucks in the public and private sector. The expansion of CNG fleets is an initiative gaining important investment from local governments, small waste companies and waste industry giants alike, including Waste Management and Republic Services.