Edward Kussy has unparalleled legal experience in the areas of highway transportation law and environmental law, with a national reputation in both fields. He spent nearly four decades in the public sector, most recently at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as the deputy chief counsel – the agency's top career lawyer.
Mr. Kussy has been instrumental in directing national transportation policy and funding decisions. He was a key participant in the drafting and implementation of the laws that currently govern the federal aid highway program. He has helped develop and implement the innovative federal policies that support public-private partnerships (PPPs), such as the U.S. Department of Transportation's policies on PABs, TIFIA and SEP-15.
Mr. Kussy has extensive expertise in dealing with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws applicable to transportation planning and construction. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Department of Transportation environmental regulations and policies that apply to the federal-aid highway program. His advice and counsel furthered countless transportation projects in every state of the Union. He has worked on hundreds of NEPA cases and other litigation, including several cases that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Kussy's comprehensive understanding of national transportation law and exemplary service have earned him numerous awards including presidential level service awards. He speaks German fluently.
Implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Advising local governments, state transportation agencies, and other clients about the transportation related provisions in ARRA. Work includes both advising on funding opportunities in the statute and procedural compliance with the law and federal agency requirements.
California, Oregon and Washington Departments of Transportation – Alternative Fuels Corridor. Advising three departments jointly on authorization, including obtaining the necessary approvals from the Federal Highways Administration, for the development and implementation of an alternative fuels corridor along interstate 5 from Baja California to British Columbia.
Georgia Department of Transportation. Providing a variety of services to Georgia's PPP program, including advising on environmental streamlining, NEPA compliance for several projects, and opportunities to create PPPs to operate highway safety rest areas and information centers.
City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii – Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project. Advising on compliance with federal environmental requirements relating to planning, financing, design, construction and operation of a new 20-mile elevated rail line, as well as serving as a senior member of the litigation team representing Honolulu before the United State District Court in a lawsuit brought under the National Environmental Policy Act and related environmental laws.
Village of Oak Park, Illinois. Advising on federal law issues related to implementing various transportation projects in the Village.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Prepared an in depth study of enforcement and toll collection issues associated with implementing an all electronic tolling system.
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Advising on issues related to the enactment of new federal surface transportation legislation and other federal transportation law issues.
Marin County Transportation Authority, California. Provided advice on the applicability of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to campaign of public service messages.
Oregon Department of Transportation. Advised on the applicability of NEPA requirements to a high-speed rail project.
HOV/HOT Lanes. Advising on the applicability of federal highway tolling provisions and federal environmental law to HOV/HOT lane proposals in several states.
Texas Department of Transportation. Advising on a wide array of federal transportation law issues, including transportation planning, eligibility for federal aid highway funding, federal environmental requirements, and other matters.
Lennar Communities/Wilson Meany Sullivan - Treasure Island Community Development. Provided advice regarding the federal highway bridge program that led directly to a $100 million ramp project being determined eligible for federal bridge replacement funds.
ABC Companies. Advised on matters relating to federal vehicle size and weight requirements.
Federal Highway Administration – Deputy Chief Counsel. Served as senior career attorney and frequently served as acting chief counsel from 1989 to 2008 to an agency that administers the $40 billion Federal Aid Highway Program. Prior FHWA positions included deputy and assistant chief counsel for Right of Way and Environmental Law. Worked on the following projects, among hundreds of others, while Deputy Chief Counsel:
- Intercounty Connector, Montgomery County, Maryland. Worked with top level state and federal transportation officials to develop an approach to project implementation strategy, environmental documentation, and administrative record for the project that resulted in environmental approvals and a successful Federal Court decision. This controversial $ 2.2 billion highway project is now under construction.
- Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Guided the legal work on all phases of the project and contributed substantially to the project's success. Legal work involved myriad complex environmental issues: difficult funding, oversight, and audit issues; right of way acquisition issues; contracting questions, and labor issues. The new, twin span, 12-lane bridge and associated interchanges are among the most complex highway construction projects in the United States. Both bridge spans are now open to traffic, and the whole project was delivered on time and within budget.
- Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel, Boston, Massachusetts ("The Big Dig"). Early legal work on this $15 billion project included overseeing the legal sufficiency review of the environmental documentation and resolving federal funding issues on environmental mitigation features. The project is now completed and has transformed downtown Boston.
- Affirmative Action Civil Rights Litigation. Worked with other senior lawyers at the US DOT, assisted the Office of the Solicitor General in forming the government's position in Adarand Constructors v. Peña, 515 U.S. 200 (1995). Following the Supreme Court's 1995 decision, which resulted in the application of strict scrutiny to federal affirmative action programs, worked to help implement President Clinton's charge to "mend, not end" affirmative action. This effort resulted in five successful U.S. Court of Appeals decisions, as well as a successful outcome in the U.S. Supreme Court when the Adarand case came before the Court again (the Court decided to deny certiorari (that is that Writ of Certiorari was improvidently granted) after the case was argued).
- SEP-15 Oversight. Provided key legal advice that led to the creation of this program and oversaw and participated in the negotiation, review, and approval of every SEP-15 application filed with FHWA between the inception of SEP-15 in 2003 and his retirement from federal service on 2008.
- TIFIA. Participated in the development of this important program and oversaw and participated in the review and approval of every application for credit assistance under the federal aid highway program.
- Federal HOV, Tolling, and Pricing Policies. Was a key participant in the development of FHWA policies that implement the various HOV, tolling, and pricing programs in current federal law, including the review and legal approval of current FHWA program guidance on HOV lanes.
- Alameda Corridor Loan. Oversaw the federal legal reviews and negotiation of a $400 million loan provided by the US DOT to the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority in 1997. This loan enabled construction of a project that greatly improved rail access to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. The loan was repaid with interest in 2004, a testament to the success of the project.
- Environmental Streamlining Strategies. Participated in the drafting of proposed legislation to streamline the transportation environmental process, provided technical assistance to Congress, and advised senior agency officials on implementation strategies to make the NEPA and related processes more efficient.
- Regulations and Policy Development. Involved in the development of all FHWA environmental and right-of-way regulations since the mid-1970s to 2008. For example, he was legal member of the teams that drafted FHWA's first environmental regulations in 1976 and a major revision to those regulations in 1987. Both as Assistant Chief Counsel and as Deputy Chief Counsel, he also participated in management oversight of these and subsequent amendments, and in the development of policies regarding these regulations. He carried out similar responsibilities with respect to many other FHWA regulations.
George Washington University Law School – Professorial Lecturer. Adjunct faculty, teaching environmental law from 1984 to 2000.
Awards & Honors
Named a Washington DC "Super Lawyer" in the area of Transportation/Maritime by Washington Lawyer magazine, 2014
The Secretary's Award for Outstanding Public Service, 2008
The General Counsel's Award for Lifetime Legal Achievement, 2008
Distinguished Career Service Award, 2008
The Lester Boykin Award, 2008 (First recipient of a new award designed to recognize particularly creative FHWA attorneys in honor of the first FHWA Chief Counsel)
The Heartland Award, 2007 (Awarded to an FHWA employee who has made major contributions of marked national significance to FHWA programs, in honor of those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing)
Secretary's Gold Award, (twice), 2007 for the Minneapolis I-35 Bridge Response Team, and for the Secretary's Urban Partnership Initiative Team
Secretary's Award for Partnering for Excellence, 2006 for the DOT Congestion Initiative Working Group
SES Presidential Rank Award (twice) Distinguished Executive, 2000, Meritorious Executive, 1995
The Distinguished Lecturer at the Transportation Research Board's 1996 Annual Meeting (first attorney to give this lecture in TRB's history)
Award for Exceptional Contribution to Transportation Law, Federal Bar Association, 1994
Joseph D. Buscher Distinguished Transportation Attorney Award, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 1991
Secretary's Award for Meritorious Achievement (Silver Medal), 1988