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 Richard@aradc.org or 202-595-1699.

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories
LegislationUSDA: Quick Implementation Of Disaster Assistance Programs A ‘Top Priority’
July 9, 2014
USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between Oct. 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More
LegislationTFI Praises White House For Signing WRRDA Into Law
June 11, 2014
The bill streamlines U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, prioritizes authorized waterway improvements and provides needed adjustments to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Read More
LegislationAg Policy: Plenty Of Fertilizer Issues Ahead
January 2, 2014
From West Fertilizer to the Chesapeake Bay, fertilizer producers and dealers are keeping an eye on several Beltway developments in 2014. Read More
Farm Bill
LegislationLack Of Farm Bill Leaves Farmers Facing Uncertainty In 2014
December 13, 2013
With just a few legislative working days remaining in 2013, the likelihood of a new farm bill is waning, leaving farmers in limbo once again. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers Unification Approved By Board, Still Awaits Member Approval
May 13, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
Latest News
ManagementA New Sprayer Company & UAV Research In The Spotlig…
May 21, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about a Dutch sprayer manufacturer entering the U.S. with a super-sized entry and Read More
HerbicidesFirst U.S. Sale Of Enlist Duo Herbicide Made By Dow Agr…
May 21, 2015
Dow AgroSciences has recorded the first U.S. sale of Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. This marks the first commercial Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manu…
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
EquipmentNORAC Options Coming To TerraGator
May 19, 2015
Utilizing NORAC’s Standard Control technology, boom height control is now available for TerraGators with Airmax Precision 2 and Benson Booms. This Read More
Crop InputsHelena Introduces New Soil Health Product
May 19, 2015
Helena Chemical Co. is helping agricultural producers maximize yields and efficiency with the introduction of Liquid Chisel, a new product Read More
Stewardship4R Nutrient Management Planning Certification Now Avail…
May 19, 2015
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) program announce a new specialty certification in Read More
Environmental Defense Fund logo
Paul SchrimpfEnvironmental Defense Fund: Appreciating Partners
May 19, 2015
I WAS deep in the throes of preparation for the Commodity Classic meeting that took place this past February, trying Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
May 19, 2015
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
Syngenta Sign
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Lawyer’s Victory Claim In Vi…
May 18, 2015
A plaintiff’s lawyer has issued a public statement claiming that damages have been awarded in the Agrisure Viptera corn lawsuits Read More
StewardshipCould Australian Water Trading Approach Fit In Californ…
May 18, 2015
Ten years of drought isn’t a good thing. It doesn’t help the bottom line of farmers or the health of Read More
SpreadersDutch Sprayer Manufacturer To Enter U.S. Market
May 18, 2015
Dutch self-propelled sprayer manufacturer Agrifac Machinery has announced intentions to enter the U.S. market with two models of sprayers available 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
ManagementA Visit To The 2015 Environmental Respect Spirit Award …
May 14, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about a recent visit to the CPS Spirit winner in St. Stephen’s Church, Read More
StewardshipBayer Entomologist Issues Statement On Annual Honeybee …
May 13, 2015
Richard (Dick) Rogers, Principal Scientist / Entomologist, Bayer Bee Care Center for Bayer CropScience LP, today issued the following statement Read More
Crop InputsKansas State Researchers Announce Resistant Kochia Brea…
May 13, 2015
Kansas State University researchers say new research helps explain why an invasive weed is developing resistance to a well-known herbicide, Read More
RR2X soybeans surround untreated check (center)
HerbicidesUSDA Study: Glyphosate Application More Prevalent In So…
May 13, 2015
Glyphosate—known by many trade names, including Roundup—has been the most widely used pesticide in the United States since 2001. It Read More
AdjuvantsHelena Chemical Introduces New Drift Control Adjuvant J…
May 13, 2015
Helena Chemical Co. introduces Justified, an innovative drift control agent designed to improve the performance and precision of spray applications Read More
CropLife 100North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers Unificati…
May 13, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Read More