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NEMA Welcomes Federal Transportation Funding Compromise


06/29/2012 12:00AM

ROSSLYN, Va.—National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) today NEMA welcomed bipartisan approval by the House and Senate of legislation to consolidate and reauthorize federal highway and transit programs.

After several weeks of talks, negotiators struck a compromise over a two-year package that includes support for developing and deploying technology solutions to help make U.S. roadways more efficient, less congested and safer. NEMA represents in part manufacturers of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) and worked to include beneficial provisions in the new law.

“This new law will help our country deploy NEMA member companies’ technologies needed not only to bring our roadways and bridges into good repair but also to enable further improvements to the movement of motorists and freight,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis.

The law, entitled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century(MAP-21), sets funding levels and requirements for federal transportation programs through September 2014.

Specifically of interest to ITS manufacturers are provisions in the law authorizing $100 million annually for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ITS program and explicitly allowing state transportation authorities’ future spending on ITS equipment on highways to be paid for by federal funds.

Furthermore, MAP-21 declares it to be “in the national interest to promote the use of innovative technologies and practices that increase the efficiency of construction of, improve the safety of, and extend the service life of highways and bridges” and directs the federal ITS program to expedite deployment of ITS as part of regional transportation plans.

MAP-21 also makes states’ EVSE deployment projects eligible for federal funding when they have a connection to interstates and highways. States may also use funds designated for maintenance of interstate highways to establish electric vehicle charging stations at any location within their state unless otherwise prohibited.

NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Worldwide annual sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion.

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