The first seven

Nov. 13, 2002



U.S. DOT Secretary Norm Mineta announced selection of the first seven transportation projects to be given priority status under a September executive order setting a new policy for environmental streamlining.

The projects are: runway construction at the Philadelphia International Airport; the Community and Environmental Transportation Acceptability Process in Riverside County, Calif.; I-93 in New Hampshire; the Chittenden Circumferential Highway in Vermont; the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project; the St. Croix River crossing at Stillwater, Minn.; and I-69 in Texas.

Mineta's announcement preceded a day-long workshop at which stakeholders discussed the chosen projects and other aspects of the new approach.

"State DOTs are adopting an environmental stewardship ethic," said John Njord, secretary of the Utah DOT. More transportation agencies are "taking responsibility for protection and enhancement of the environment as an integral part of their mission."

A coalition of environmental groups, including Defenders of Wildlife, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club made public their objections to the selected priority projects, saying in a news release that they were chosen "because of their political importance to Republican candidates facing tough elections."

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