Topic ID #21388 - posted 7/10/2012 2:56 PM

New U.S. Transport Law Limits Archeology Studies



Jennifer Palmer

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New U.S. Transport Law Limits Archeology Studies
by David Malakoff on 9 July 2012, 4:38 PM |
Rough ride. New highway funding bill could put some archeologists and environmental researchers in a jam.

The road to funding has gotten considerably bumpier for some American archeologists and environmental researchers. President Barack Obama on Friday signed a major new transportation funding bill that extensively reworks—and cuts—a little-known program that has paid for hundreds of field research projects over the last few decades.

The $101 billion measure, formally known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), reauthorizes federal funding for road and transit projects over the next 2 years. It is the product of a long and contentious debate in Congress that included efforts to eliminate the Transportation Enhancements program (TEP), which for about 2 decades has required states to spend a small portion of their federal transport funds on 12 types of activities, including bike and walking paths, but also "archaeological planning & research," and "environmental mitigation." Between 1992 and 2011, the program fed more than $50 million to archeology and environmental research efforts, helping fund about 200 projects. But some lawmakers argued the nation couldn't afford such spending at a time when roads and bridges were crumbling.


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Post ID#19684 - replied 7/12/2012 5:20 AM



Dwarmour


I posted this question on there as well but;

Aside from a reduction in the total funding available, how does this exactly reduce the amount of funding that gets diverted to archaeological projects.  If in order to get funded an arch project must be related to transportation projects and this bill wants to increase the amount of funding diverted to fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, won't the arch. and environmental surveys still be necessary?  Also wouldn't 106 and NEPA circumvent the goals of this bill, requiring the consideration of adverse affects on resources to any federally funded project?  Seems like this may reduce the number of DOT archaeologists perhaps?

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