By U.S. Congresswoman Lori Chavez-DeRemer (#5),
Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is raising concerns with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regarding the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) proposal to implement tolling on I-205 and I-5 in the Portland area.
In a letter to FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt, Chavez-DeRemer warns that such a drastic proposal should be subjected to a more comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to better understand the effect that tolling would have on Oregonians. Currently, all that has been conducted is a less rigorous Environmental Assessment (EA), even though many questions remain unanswered regarding federal and state due diligence for such a consequential project.
“I am strongly opposed to the current Oregon tolling proposal, and I share the frustration felt by so many Oregonians that the process has been rushed and careless. It’s disappointing that bureaucrats have tried to force such significant change with no regard for the negative impact it would have on everyday travelers and neighboring communities. Moving forward, I will continue working to ensure appropriate laws and regulations are being followed. Oregonians deserve a thorough assessment of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of tolling,” Chavez-DeRemer said after sending the letter.
In her letter to FHWA, Chavez-DeRemer relays a number of concerns that have been raised in public comments, including that tolling would create unsafe traffic in surrounding neighborhoods. She requests a meeting with Administrator Bhatt to further discuss the administration’s efforts to ensure the tolling proposal is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
Full text of the letter is available HERE.