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Scenic Takes a Run at Federal Law Governing Billboards

Attempt to Change Federal Law to Injure Billboards

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We heard that Scenic/anti-billboard forces are attacking vegetation controls in Congress.
OOH Today tracked down Ken Klein, Executive Vice President, at Out of Home Advertising Association, ( OAAA) to find out what’s up.

OOH Today: Did someone from New England try to change federal law to injure billboards?

Ken Klein: A congressman from New Hampshire (Chris Pappas, D-NH) filed an amendment to change the “Highway Beautification Act (HBA) to prohibit removal of publicly owned trees and vegetation solely to improve the visibility of outdoor advertising along interstates or highways.”

We lobbied against this Amendment; it was withdrawn.

OOH Today:  What motivated Congressman Pappas?

Ken Klein: A Scenic America board member from his State asked him to introduce this amendment.

OOH Today:  What’s going on in Congress, to attract a billboard amendment?

Ken Klein: The US House is considering a surface-transportation bill, which has attracted hundreds of amendments.

OOH Today:  In a fast-moving environment, with a flurry of amendments, how did you learn about this Amendment?

Ken Klein:  Great question. Congressional staff on the inside flagged it for us. 

OOH Today: Is this challenge dead, or is it still alive?

Ken Klein:  It came back. Days later, two other members of Congress — from South Carolina and Texas — refiled the Amendment.  We went right to work, and it was withdrawn earlier this week.

The State outdoor advertising associations in South Carolina and Texas weighed it, quickly and effectively. Here is the memo from Lee Vela (Clear Channel-Houston), president of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas:

Lee Vela





OOH Today: It is great to know you and the OAAA are working everyday to protect our billboard business interests from the potential political calamities of Congress and the anti-billboard forces.
Thank you Ken. 


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