The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is finalizing a change to a provision in the Tribal Transportation Program regulations affecting proposed roads that are currently in the National Tribal Transportation Facility Inventory (NTTFI). Specifically, this final rule deletes the requirement for Tribes to collect and submit certain data in order to keep those proposed roads in the NTTFI. The requirement to collect and submit data to add new proposed roads to the NTTFI remains in place.

Regulations governing the Tribal Transportation Program were published in 2016. See 81 FR 78456 (November 7, 2016). The regulations became effective on December 7, 2016, except for § 170.443, which required Tribes' compliance one year later: On November 7, 2017. Section 170.443 required Tribes to collect data for proposed roads to be added to, or remain in, the NTTFI. BIA then further delayed the November 7, 2017, deadline for compliance with § 170.443 to November 7, 2019. See 82 FR 50312 (October 31, 2017), 83 FR 8609 (February 28, 2018). The purpose of the delay was to provide BIA with time to reexamine whether revision or deletion of the data collection requirements in § 170.443 would be appropriate. BIA staff then engaged in outreach at several regional and national meetings with affected Tribes and, on July 26, 2019, issued a proposal to apply the data collection requirements going forward to any new proposed road submission, but not to proposed roads that were already in the NTTFI as of the date of publication of the regulations on November 7, 2016, unless any changes or updates were or are made after that date. See 84 FR 36040. BIA then hosted three Tribal consultation sessions: September 5, 2019, in Minneapolis; September 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska; and September 12, 2019, in Denver, Colorado.