New Website Unveiled by AASHTO’s Center for Environmental Excellence

The Center for Environmental Excellence – a partnership through the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Federal Highway Administration – launched a new website to provide faster and easier access to information for users, available at: https://environment.transportation.org.

Established in 2001, the Center promotes environmental stewardship, encourages innovation and serves as a resource for transportation professionals seeking technical assistance, training, information exchange, and partnership-building opportunities.

The new website presents the Center’s resources in a more visually appealing and organized way – saving time and reducing frustration among users when searching the site for desired information.

The website includes practitioner handbooks; case studies highlighting what state departments of transportation are doing on various environmental topics; news stories; and a listing of upcoming events.

Visitors may also find information in one of several topical areas such as air quality, active transportation, sustainability, environmental justice, traffic noise, climate change, water quality, and many others. The new site also features several resources for researchers, including the Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas or TERI database – a central location for tracking and sharing new transportation and environmental research ideas.

“The Center has always featured an enormous amount of resources relating to transportation environmental topics,” explained Melissa Savage, director of the Center, in a statement. “But we found it could all be a little overwhelming. Now users are able to more clearly see what’s available,” she said. “Those who know what they’re looking for can find it quickly, while those who want to browse resources can do that in a more organized way that makes a lot more sense.

Center for Environmental Excellence Updating PAL Database

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Center for Environmental Excellence (CEE) is looking for state assistance in updating the contents of its Programmatic Agreement Library or PAL database.

[Above photo courtesy of Oregon DOT.]

The PAL database functions as a “central library” or “one-stop-shop” for programmatic agreements between state departments of transportation and/or the Federal Highway Administration in partnership with resource agencies that help streamline compliance with federal environmental laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.

The PAL contains not only the programmatic agreement information; it contains a link to the full agreement and provides on-going access for practitioners to research agreements that meet specific requirements.

However, most of the agreements within the database are 10 years old, so the CEE is asking states to review the documents within the PAL to see if they are still valid, need to be updated, or removed entirely.

State agencies willing to help review those PAL documents can contact the CEE at environment@aashto.org.