by Chris Kelsey,

In the last few years, the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) has done an outstanding job of connecting industry with legislative experts and lobbyists to bring geosynthetic solutions to the attention of federal legislation influencers. One of the major pushes has been to secure funding for a separation geosynthetics study. The following is a letter sent by Andrew M. Aho, executive director of GMA, to GMA members, regarding the proposed separation geosynthetics study. geosynthetica encourages its readers to contact GMA for more information on how you can help; and we encourage you to send a letter to applicable state and federal officials in support of this important study. Links to sample letters are provided below. – CK


Dear GMA Member

We are at a critical time in getting our legislative request funded. We are seeking $1.15 million to fund a geosynthetic study. We need each GMA member company to send letters of support ASAP. PLEASE USE YOUR COMPANY LETTERHEAD. WE ALSO NEED A COPY (electronic is best) of the letters you send.

Congressman Heath Shuler has successfully submitted the “Separation Study” to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. This does not guarantee funding, but this is very encouraging and a critical step toward funding. The next step is to show support for our project request through continued advocacy to the Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar and Rep. Shuler. The description below explains the advocacy strategy for our letters of support.

I have attached two letters of support:

  • The first letter is directed toward House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-8th MN). Chairman Oberstar is responsible for accepting and denying Member project requests for the transportation bill. It is important that GMA members send him letters showing that there is national support for this project. Congressman Heath Shuler (D-11th NC) is carbon copied (cc’d) on the letter because he is the Member of Congress who submitted the Separation Study to the House T&I Committee for funding. We want to make sure that he is also seeing the national support for the project as well. This helps to re-confirm to him and his staff that they submitted a valuable request, and that it warrants funding.
  • The second letter is directed toward the Secretary of your State Department of Transportation. This letter is intended to notify your state DOT of this project, and to ask whether their department would consider sending a letter of support to (or calling) Chairman Oberstar OR potentially contributing resources to the project. This project by law requires a 20% match for our $1,150,000 request. ($230,000) This money can come from ANY source – a state DOT, county, or from a private source. So please also consider other public or private entities that you believe would consider supporting GMA’s request with a letter of support, phone calls, or financially.

Please note that the IFF is the foundation of IFAI and using this education foundation as the requesting source is our best strategy of getting funding.

If you have any question please contact me.

Andrew Aho
Managing Director
+1 651 225 6907
Cell +1 651 271 6526