New Jersey Sues Transportation Department Over New York’s New ‘Congestion Tolls’

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The state of New Jersey filed a lawsuit Friday against the U.S. Department of Transportation(DOT) and the Federal Highway Administration(FHWA) challenging the federal government’s approval of New York’s congestion toll plan.

The lawsuit alleges that the government’s approval of New York’s plan to charge drivers a “congestion toll” in Manhattan to reduce emissions violates federal law because the DOT and FHWA failed to evaluate the environmental impact of the proposal. The suit further alleges that the federal government failed to address the impact that the congestion pricing plan would have on New Jersey citizens.

“That misguided decision violates the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (‘NEPA’) that a federal agency must conduct a comprehensive review and prepare a complete environmental impact statement (‘EIS’) whenever a proposed action is of such consequence, as here, that it will ‘significantly affect[] the quality of the human environment,'” the lawsuit states. (RELATED: Drivers Could Pay Heavy Tolls To Reduce Emissions When Entering New York City)

“Nothing in this bedrock federal environmental law allows the FHWA to turn a blind eye to the significant environmental impacts that congestion pricing in the Manhattan Central Business District (‘Manhattan CBD’) will have on New Jersey, favoring New York at the expense of its neighbors,” the lawsuit states.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called the proposal “reckless” and said that the congestion pricing plan would place an undue financial burden on his state’s residents, according to a Friday press release.

“At the MTA’s own admission, its tolling program would divert traffic and shift pollution to many vulnerable New Jersey communities, impacting air quality while offering nothing to mitigate such considerable harm,” Murphy stated in the press release. “Today we stand as a unified front against this reckless scheme and reaffirm our commitment to combat the unjust taxation of our hardworking residents by other states.”

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which will oversee the implementation of the congestion toll plan, had its review approved by the FHWA in late June, according to The Wall Street Journal. The MTA is planning to start charging drivers entering Manhattan the toll by the spring of 2024.

The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction against the approval of the congestion toll plan until a new environmental impact analysis can be completed.

A spokesperson for the FHWA told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the agency “does not comment on pending litigation.”

The DOT did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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