The Environmental Protection Agency is joining the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in a partnership linking the agencies’ policies.
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities points to greater interagency cooperation in Washington and an expansion of DOT’s traditional transport role to environmental and social areas.
It comes as legislators and federal officials consider a reorganization at DOT that would expand the agency’s mission to embrace environmental, trade and energy directives.
“Creating livable communities will result in improved quality of life for all Americans and create a more efficient and more accessible transportation network,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said June 16. “Fostering the concept of livability in transportation projects and programs will help America’s neighborhoods become safer, healthier and more vibrant.”
Testifying at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing, LaHood and his counterparts at HUD and EPA outlined six ‘livability principles’ they will use to coordinate transportation, environmental, and housing investments.
The first is to provide more transportation choices, with an eye toward reducing household transportation costs and dependence on foreign oil while improving air quality and public health.
DOT, HUD and EPA pledged to align policies to remove barriers to cooperation and leverage funding.
“For the first time, the federal government will speak with one voice on housing, environmental and transportation policy,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.
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