WYDOT Director William T. Panos to testify before U.S. Senate committee May 3

May 1, 2017

Bill-Panos-Director.jpgWyoming Department of Transportation Director William T. Panos will testify before a U.S. Senate committee at 10 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, May 3 in Washington, D.C., about a variety of streamlining and efficiency issues.

Panos will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairs the committee.

In addition to Wyoming, his written statement will be submitted on behalf of the departments of transportation of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Panos will present some of the challenges related to the current environmental review process for surface transportation projects, especially for routine highway projects within the existing right of way. He will emphasize opportunities for speeding up the timetable for this analysis while still protecting the environment.

His testimony will also discuss ways federal regulations can burden states without increasing safety or providing other benefits to the public. Recent regulatory provisions, for instance, would require all states, including Wyoming, to report congestion data to the federal government on a wide variety of routes, even though congestion isn’t a problem in many parts of the country, especially rural areas. Panos will suggest some ways, such as waiver clauses, to increase the flexibility of federal requirements in circumstances where the rules were not designed to apply.

Finally, Panos’ remarks will remind Congress of the importance to the nation of federal transportation investment in Wyoming and other sparsely populated states. Highways and other facilities in these states connect U.S. population centers and economic hubs and provide access to energy production facilities, national parks and forests, agricultural commodities and other vital resources.