U.S. Senate Committee Accepts ICPI Proposal on Permeable Pavements for Transportation Appropriation
Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has
agreed to include a permeable pavements provision in the Committee
Report to accompany the Senate version of the "THUD" Appropriations
The language was drafted and offered to the Senate by the
Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, ICPI.
"THUD" is the key appropriation to fund all activities by the U.S.
Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway
Administration, and is of paramount interest to all transportation
David Pitre, ICPI's Board Chairman-Elect, hailed the action
taken by the Senate Committee as an "extension and expansion of the
language that ICPI secured on the MAP-21 Transportation
Authorization law. ICPI is helping government institutions at
all levels overcome outmoded barriers to adoption and increase the
use of pavers to obtain their public policy benefits in
The permeable pavements appropriation language is the first action
by ICPI in the appropriations element of transportation issues on
Charles McGrath, ICPI's Executive Director, added that "ICPI's
activities on this effort reflect the association's commitment to
grow paver penetration into the huge U.S. transportation network as
a mainstream technology to expand and upgrade the transportation
The provision offered by ICPI is included in Senate Report 113-45,
and urges the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to expend
discretionary funds to address the purposes set forth in
However, the appropriations provision expands USDOT/FHWA
activities to include testing of high-traffic permeable pavements
using infiltration concrete or asphalt bases, validation of
hydrologic/hydraulic/pollutant removal performance data and
modeling, and data collection and reporting on permeable pavements,
installation, maintenance and life cycle costs.
The Committee provision further directs USDOT to issue reports on
its findings to State and municipal transportation agencies.
"ICPI staff are working closely with USDOT/FHWA officials to
implement the new policy and encourage the agencies to allocate
discretionary funds to these tasks," said McGrath.
Randall Pence of Capitol Hill Advocates, ICPI's Government Affairs
Counsel, commented that "the ICPI appropriations provision was made
possible in large part by the prior placement of the permeable
pavements language in MAP-21. Procedurally, the provisions
are designed to work in tandem, and also to lay the foundation for
the successor bill to MAP-21."
At least one Senate staff member called the ICPI action "a bold
move" on the heels of ICPI securing permeable pavements language on
MAP-21 a short time ago -- the first appearance of permeable
pavements policy sought by ICPI.
Nonetheless, ICPI was able to convince thoughtful Members of the
Senate that permeable pavements should share the future of the U.S.
Pitre, McGrath and Pence jointly praised the leadership and
foresight of the Senate Appropriations Committee, particularly
Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), for their
bipartisan work on the THUD Subcommittee. Senator Collins is
particularly interested in how permeable pavements can provide
environmentally-friendly stormwater reduction enhancements to the
nation's transportation infrastructure.
In addition, ICPI thanked Senator David Vitter (R-LA), a key
player in passing MAP-21, who signed a letter to the Appropriations
Committee supporting the inclusion of the permeable pavements
Floor action is expected on both the Senate and House versions
of the THUD Appropriations Bill during the week of July 22.
ICPI is lobbying the House Committee on Appropriations with respect
to ICPI's support for the Senate language. ICPI has asked the
House Committee to accept the Senate language during the upcoming
House-Senate conference to consolidate all proposals into law.
Check out this video of Congressman LoBiondo,
who is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee, attending a permeable pavement demonstration conducted
by EP Henry last Fall.