ARA: 7 Key Priorities For Surface Transportation Bill

On May 31, 2012, the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) submitted a letter to the House and Senate members of the conference committee of the surface transportation bill regarding the final Senate-House conference agreement.

In the letter, ARA addressed the following essential priorities included in the legislation that directly impact ARA members and their rural communities:

  1. Transportation of Agricultural Commodities and Farm Supplies: ARA supports including a modified Section 32101(d) Transportation of Agricultural Commodities and Farm Supplies of the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” or MAP-21 9S. 1813) in any final Senate-House conference agreement. A similar provision was included in H.R. 7.
  2. Hazardous Materials Transportation: ARA supports the Senate and House legislative efforts to reauthorize the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA). The HMTA is the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOTs) source of authority to oversee the safe, secure and efficient transportation of these materials, which are critical to the health of the Nation.
  3. Electronic On-Board Recorders: ARA opposes a provision included in the Senate bill that would mandate electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) on every single one of the millions of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in use across the United States. ARA believes this creates an unnecessary expansion of the current regulations and would substantially increase the financial burdens on the nation’s agricultural retailers and distributors.
  4. RAMP Act: ARA supports the inclusion of the Realize America’s Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act (HR 104) in any final Senate-House conference agreement. This proposal, which was included in the House-passed version of the surface transportation bill (H.R. 4348), would ensure that all funds collected as part of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) and deposited into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) are to be used for the operation and maintenance of U.S. ports, waterways and harbors.
  5. Surface Transportation Board: ARA supports provisions included in the Senate Bill that would take meaningful steps in the right direction to reform the Surface Transportation Board (STB). These freight rail provisions are modest steps that are needed to ensure a more equal balance between shipper and carrier interests in rail policy deliberations at the STB and make the agency more accountable, transparent and effective.
  6. Improved Daytime and Nighttime Visibility of Agricultural Equipment: ARA supports the Senate bill’s provision (Sec. 31601 of S. 1813) that would require the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), after consultation with representatives of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and appropriate federal agencies, to promulgate a rule to improve the daytime and nighttime visibility of agricultural equipment that may be operated on the public road.
  7. Pension Funding Stabilization: ARA supports efforts by conferees to address pension funding issues being faced by many American businesses. The Senate’s Pension Funding Stabilization provision (Sec. 40312) would help free up billions of dollars for businesses to reinvest back into their companies and the economy by making necessary interest rate adjustments and allow for the reduction of tax free contributions to pension plans.

Click here to view the full letter.

The temporary extension of the current Surface Transportation Bill expires June 30, 2012.   If the conference does not reach an agreement by this point, another short term extension will be passed. 

Click here to share these priorities with your members of Congress.

ARA will continue to closely monitor this legislation and update ARA members on its progress.  For questions, please contact Richard Gupton at or 202-595-1699.

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories

LegislationFall Fertilizer Transportation Could Be At Risk With Possible Rail Stoppage
October 1, 2015
Failure by Congress to extend the deadline for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on the railroads could gridlock Read More
LegislationEndangered Species Act, Pollinator Health Among Key Issues For CropLife America
September 7, 2015
Recently, CropLife® magazine had the chance to talk with CropLife America about the association’s key objectives and concerns. CropLife (CL): Read More
FertilizerTFI Weighs In On Fertilizer Rail Transport Bill
May 14, 2015
With today’s House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as a backdrop, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) registered its support for policies Read More
LegislationGov. Kasich Signs Ohio Bill For Lake Erie Water Quality
April 2, 2015
Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill aimed at protecting Lake Erie and Ohio’s water quality, reports editorial staff at Read More
Top 100 Articles
Southern States Co-op Storefront
CropLife 100Southern States: Always Ag Authentic
October 1, 2015
If people were to judge a book by its cover when visiting Southern States Cooperative’s (SSC) Richmond, VA, corporate headquarters, Read More
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Latest News
EquipmentPrecision Tank & Equipment: 50 Years Of Growing
October 4, 2015
Looking out onto the production floor of the fiberglass/stainless steel tank manufacturing facility in Ligonier, IN, David Hemming, president/CEO for Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsScience & Strategy Spur Syngenta’s Crop Protection …
October 3, 2015
Developing a crop protection portfolio is a lot of science and a little serendipity. “There are a number of things Read More
Dan Schaefer and Jason Solberg IFCA
StewardshipIllinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association: Tacklin…
October 2, 2015
You’ve got to be doing something right if lots of people keep coming to you for advice. That’s what’s happening Read More
LegislationFall Fertilizer Transportation Could Be At Risk With Po…
October 1, 2015
Failure by Congress to extend the deadline for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on the railroads could gridlock Read More
Weed ResistancePPO Resistant Pigweed Hits The Mid-South
October 1, 2015
If you’re a soybean grower already entangled in troublesome weed resistance in the state of Arkansas, Mississippi or Tennessee, you Read More
Weed ResistanceManagement Strategies That Worked In 2015
October 1, 2015
For better or worse, throughout many regions of the country 2015 provided the optimal growing season conditions for both crops, Read More
ManagementAn Update On CropLife America’s Meeting & The Outlo…
October 1, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review last week’s CropLife America Annual Meeting and how crop protection companies believe next Read More
Patriot 4440 Sprayer close up
Weed ResistanceManaging Herbicide-Resistant Weeds: The Importance Of ‘…
October 1, 2015
As the problem of herbicide-resistant weeds has spread, crop protection product suppliers have charged their top researchers with coming up Read More
Adjuvants loading
Weed ResistanceAdjuvants Trending Up For Fighting Weed Resistance
October 1, 2015
Gone with the wind are the days when adding an adjuvant to the spray tank was looked at with major Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
Weed Resistance8 Best Management Practices For Spray Drift Control
October 1, 2015
Dr. Robert Wolf, Wolf Consulting & Research, LLC, Mahomet, IL, is one of the leading experts in drift management strategies. Read More
EquipmentUSC Releases New U-BATCH Treater
October 1, 2015
U-BATCH is one of the most versatile batch treaters on the market today, according to USC. Capable of treating most Read More
Southern States Co-op Storefront
CropLife 100Southern States: Always Ag Authentic
October 1, 2015
If people were to judge a book by its cover when visiting Southern States Cooperative’s (SSC) Richmond, VA, corporate headquarters, Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Names New Vice Presidents For P…
September 30, 2015
As farmers seek advanced, innovative ways to keep their operations profitable and efficient, companies must rise to the challenge to Read More
Tim Glenn, Dupont Crop Protection
Crop InputsDuPont Crop Protection Appoints New President
September 30, 2015
DuPont has named Timothy P. Glenn as president of its Crop Protection business effective October 1, succeeding Rik Miller who Read More
Industry NewsYargus Expands Sales Force With Two Hires
September 30, 2015
Renee Sauvageau and Mike Etter have joined the Yargus Manufacturing, Inc. Sales Team, as Territory Sales Managers. Renee joined Yargus Read More
BlendersYargus Introduces New Layco Rotary Drum Blenders
September 28, 2015
Yargus has introduced the new 13- and 16-ton capacity Rotary Drum Blenders that have one of the highest capacities in Read More
Eric SfiligojMACA Young Leaders Speak
September 28, 2015
For the past several years, one of the highlights of the annual Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) meeting is hearing Read More
Screen capture of this week's Retail Week video featuring CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj and Executive Editor Paul Schrimpf as they examine the Ohio Farm Science Review and the CropLife 100.
ManagementOhio FSR Report And The Allure Of The iPad
September 24, 2015
Ohio Farm Science Review learnings and a CropLife 100 challenge from Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj in this edition Read More