Federal Government Jurisdiction and State and Local Government Problems in United States

In the United States, the state and local governments, have jurisdiction over most of the streets and roads. The jurisdiction of the local government is limited to national forests, national parks, and other lands that are owned by the government. It is important to note that most of these areas under the jurisdiction of the Federal government do not have permanent residents. However, they experience various human related activities. The federal government may not have direct jurisdiction over the roads but it is still their mandate to ensure that these roads are well maintained. Some programs such as the Federal-aid highway program have been developed to help the federal government facilitate proper management of the major highways in the nation (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 2011).

Noise has been identified as an issue of great concern in the United States. The federal government, through the Federal Highway Association (FHWA) provides aid to the state and local governments in ensuring that efficient and safe transport systems are established to ensure proper movement of goods and people within and inter-states. Thus, the Federal government is limited to providing guidance to metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and agencies of the State highways, and to the reimbursement of MPOs and States for the project share of the Federal government (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 2011). On the other hand, the state has jurisdiction over the planning, initiation, designing, operation, construction, and maintenance of highways, including those on the federal-aid systems.

The issue of noise is as a result of different problems, some of which are common among the governments, and some of which are unique to the federal or the state governments. One of the problems unique to the state government is land use planning and control (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 2011). The federal government does not have jurisdiction over land use planning and control. As such, poor utilization of power by the local and state leads to inadequate regulation of land development practices and thus free engagement in land uses that are noise-sensitive.

On the other hand, the problems associated with source control are unique to the federal government as it has the jurisdiction over this docket. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a mandate of implementing the Noise Control Act of 1972 (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 2011). Thus, the federal government is faced with the problem of developing noise regulations that would ensure that major noise sources including construction equipment and transportation vehicles are controlled in terms of noise emission.

However, general noise mitigation is an issue that is common between the federal and state government. Each of these governments has the mandate of ensuring that standards for noise mitigation are developed and a health environment is promoted. In this case, the federal government is tasked with development of overseeing policies of noise minimization, while the state governments have the mandate of ensuring that structural considerations are pouty in place to ensure that noise is kept at bay (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 2011).

References

  • U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. (2011, July 14). Highway Traffic and Construction Noise – Problem and Response. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/noise/regulations_and_guidance/probresp.cfm
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