UPDATE: Thanks in part to advocates like you, U.S. Senators voted 59-39 to table the amendment to a fiscal 2012 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. This effectively kills the current attack, but future threats continue to loom and could surface as early as November 1st when the THUD appropriations bill resumes consideration. In addition, a draft surface transportation authorization bill is expected to include significant changes to the program that could spell bad news for preservationists. In the coming weeks, we will be asking for your help in communicating to your Members how important this program is to your state.
As early as today, the US Senate could vote on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. It is likely that a harmful amendment to this bill will be offered that would prohibit preservation-related activities under the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program - the single largest source of federal funding for historic preservation.
This change would be devastating to preservation projects that capitalize on existing historic resources to create jobs, improve the quality of life, and protect the environment. With the help of advocates like you, we overcame a similar threat to the program last month. Now we must rise to the challenge again to defend this important program.
The bill also carries damaging new language (Section 128) that would waive National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) review provisions designed to protect historic and cultural resources from disaster recovery projects. This measure is redundant and sets a harmful precedent of waiving the NHPA.
Please contact your U.S. Senators today and ask them to vote "no" on any amendment eliminating preservation-related transportation enhancements, and to oppose Section 128 of the THUD appropriations bill.
Check out our Transportation and Livable Communities page for more information on the importance of the Transportation Enhancements program to your state and the National Historic Preservation Act. Thank you for standing up for historic preservation!
Updated October 24, 2011.