FMCSA to prepare EIS on Mexican trucks in US
Aug 28, 2003 12:00 PM
The Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced August 26 that it will prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) and a general conformity evaluation (GCE) to meet the requirements of a United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision in Public Citizen v Department of Transportation. The court's decision prevented FMCSA from implementing safety rules governing the entry of Mexico-domiciled carriers into the United States until a more thorough environmental analysis had been completed, and effectively blocked the Bush administration from implementing the truck and bus provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
"FMCSA is ready now, and will be ready whenever the Mexican border is opened, to ensure the safety of border operations," FMCSA Administrator Annette M Sandberg said. "We will begin work to comply with the court's ruling but not to the exclusion of other legal avenues, including the possibility of asking the Supreme Court to review the lower court's decision."
FMCSA awarded a $1.8 million contract to ICF Consulting, Fairfax VA to prepare a fully developed environmental impact statement that analyzes the short- and long-term environmental impacts of Mexican trucks operating beyond the border zones. FMCSA estimates that the EIS will be completed in 12 to18 months. Comments on the scope of the EIS should be sent by November 7 to NAFTA EIS, PO Box 4050, Merrifield VA 22116-4050; toll-free fax (800) 260-9702; toll-free telephone (800) 288-5634. Comments may be submitted at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/NAFTAEIS . This notice appeared in the August 27 Federal Register.