Environmental News Highlights – April 10, 2024


AASHTO Issues New ‘Commuting in America’ Reports -AASHTO Journal

AASHTO Seeks ‘Balanced’ EV Charging Network Effort -AASHTO Journal

AASHTO Comments on Low Carbon Construction Material Rules -AASHTO Journal

States seek Supreme Court intervention on smog plan split -E&E News

Key takeaways about the condition of US bridges and their role in the economy –AP

Buttigieg rejects critics of EV future: Like people in 2000s saying we could have landlines forever -Fox News’ America Reports

Interactive Playbook Helps Communities Plan for Transportation Electrification -Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (media release)



Shadows in Motion: Emergency Management Post a Solar Eclipse with Illinois DOT –The Stream by AASHTO (podcast)

Traffic delays and other issues mark total solar eclipse day -USA Today

Eclipse flights swarm airports: ‘We had to close the runway to park planes –CNBC


Maine seeks to curb ‘range anxiety’ with new EV charging stations -Spectrum News

Cargo ships are getting bigger, but can our infrastructure keep up? -WWL Radio

A collapsed bridge, a new Amtrak tunnel, the Red Line: Baltimore is an infrastructure epicenter -Baltimore Banner

Unused “T” lines could be revived during massive improvement project -KDKA-TV

Few Stations and $200 to Fill Up: Life on California’s ‘Hydrogen Highway –CityLab

PennDOT Announces $20 Million in Funding for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure -Pennsylvania DOT (media release)



Ship Speed Reduction Lowers California Coastal Air Pollution -Maritime Executive

Emissions model for aviation fuel will be ready ‘in the very near future’, says EPA administrator –Reuters


Atlantans call for equity and access in transit and mobilityWABE Radio

How NJ school uses virtual reality to help kids with autism prepare for airport stress -The Record

People with disabilities must be included in climate planning and responses, say Harvard researchers -Harvard Law Review

USDOT Announces Latest Step Toward Launching New Reconnecting Communities Institute -USDOT (media release)

US EPA and New York State DEC Launch Statewide Environmental Justice Listening Tour -EPA (media release)



State DOT Landscape Projects Transforming Infrastructure -AASHTO Journal


WYDOT Video Highlights Value of Roadway Snow Fencing -AASHTO Journal

Adapting stormwater management to extreme weather requires innovation, professor says -Ohio State University


New York governor orders transit agency to drop bid to charge NYC Marathon $750K for use of Verrazzano bridge –AP

Japanese Businesses Fight to Stay as Metro Stop Transforms LA’s Little Tokyo –CityLab


Connecticut to launch 13 microtransit services within four-month period -Mass Transit

Silence the Roar: Noise Pollution in Aviation –Airways

E-bikes are Transforming Urban Mobility and Cities Need to get Onboard: Study –Momentum

Safety concerns prompt Tampa to enact new e-scooter rules, including fines -WUSF Radio

Greensburg, PA seeking public feedback on city walking, cycling for Active Transportation Plan -Tribune-Review

2022 was the ‘worst year ever for bicyclist deaths,’ new data shows -Route Fifty


Airport Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic -ACRP (webinar)


Air Plan Approval; District of Columbia; Removal of Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Program Requirements -EPA (Final rule)

National Boating Safety Advisory Committee; Vacancy; Correction -Coast Guard (Notice; request for applications; Correction)

National Chemical Transportation Safety Advisory Committee; Vacancies -Coast Guard (Notice; request for applications)

National Maritime Security Advisory Committee; May 2024 Virtual MeetingCoast Guard (Notice)

Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council; Public MeetingFish and Wildlife Service (Notice)

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Vineyard Northeast Project on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Massachusetts; Corrections -Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (Notice)

Notice of Public Meeting of Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee -Geological Survey (Notice of teleconference meeting)


Report Offers Location Planning for EV Chargers

A new report compiled by The Ray and Geotab Inc. seeks to help state and local governments determine the optimal locations and design parameters for electric vehicle or EV charging stations for both passenger and freight vehicles.

[Above photo by the Maine DOT]

The basis of the report comes from analysis of vehicle telematics data recorded by Geotab from two highway corridors – a regional route along I-20 from Dallas to Atlanta, and a local route from the Port of Savannah, GA, to the inland port in Atlanta.

Geotab developed and provided “data visualization tools,” such as graphs and heat maps, from vehicles traveling those routes equipped with its transponder. That data then allowed The Ray – a Georgia-based corporate venture devoted to roadway technology testing – to more easily the vehicle travel patterns within each corridor.

The Ray’s analysis highlighted “uniquely different” freight truck movements within each corridor. The regional route along I-20 revealed vehicles stopped at many locations on an “inconsistent” basis along the entire route, while the local route revealed vehicles stopped at just a few distinct locations.

In turn, state departments of transportation can use such information to develop more “precise” highway electrification plans, especially in terms of strategically siting charging stations.

“Our cooperation and data analysis with The Ray will support the strategic positioning of charging infrastructure to help achieve the highest probability of success from the first  day of deployment which will in turn help expedite freight EV adoption,” said Charlotte Argue, senior manager of fleet electrification at Geotab, in a statement.

“By leveraging telematics and data from connected vehicles to help identify and meet the infrastructure needs of freight vehicles, states can be confident in their investment and ability to deliver effective and convenient charging infrastructure along U.S. interstates,” she said.

The strategic planning approach also gives states the opportunity to overlay Geotab’s data analysis with The Ray’s GIS roadside solar tool to identify optimal locations for the development of roadside solar, added Allie Kelly, executive director of The Ray.

Used together, those tools should provide state DOTs with the opportunity to connect the demand of high-powered EV charging stations with the potential production of solar-based electricity production systems located in highway right-of-ways.

“Findings from our pilot corridors underscore the need for data from additional corridors throughout the country to set states up for success,” Kelly said.

“The telematics technology from Geotab, together as an overlay to The Ray’s solar mapping tool, will help transportation planners start one step ahead by developing infrastructure how and where it’s needed most, and determining which locations are optimal for co-locating EV charging and solar arrays on the roadsides,” she pointed out.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is also engaged in several efforts to help state DOTs navigate EV recharging needs.

In March, AASHTO helped establish a free repository of information on electric vehicles available to state agencies. Called the “EV States Clearinghouse,” it contains a variety of documents such as sample requests for proposals or RFPs, sample contracts, EV infrastructure siting and assessment tools, plus other resources.

Those tools and documents can help state agencies deploy the funding for EVs created in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA – signed into law in November 2021 – which created the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure or NEVI formula program.

That program will allocate $5 billion to states through formula funds over the next five years to build out EV charging infrastructure.

AASHTO also signed a memorandum of understanding in February with the National Association of State Energy Officials, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Energy to coordinate nationwide investment in EV charging station infrastructure.

FHWA Unlocks $6.4B for Carbon Reduction Program

The Federal Highway Administration officially unlocked $6.4 billion in formula funding for states and localities over the next five years via the new Carbon Reduction Program or CRP, created by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enacted in November 2021.

[Above photo by the MBTA]

Passage of a fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriations package in March finally honored full first-year transportation funding levels established by the IIJA and allowed new programs to start, which allowed FHWA to apportion funding for CRP.

The CRP seeks to fund a wide range of projects designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from on-road highway sources — from installing infrastructure to support the electrification of freight vehicles or personal cars, to constructing Bus Rapid Transit or BRT corridors, to facilitating micro-mobility and biking.

FHWA emphasized that, under the CRP, states must also develop carbon reduction strategies in consultation with Metropolitan Planning Organizations or MPOs to identify projects and strategies tailored to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in their states – though states and localities may begin using the CRP funds even before such plans are developed and reviewed.

“This new program provides states and local agencies in both urban and rural areas the flexibility and funding needed to reduce emissions and build a more sustainable transportation network that will benefit all travelers,” said Stephanie Pollack, FHWA’s deputy administrator, in a statement. FHWA noted that projects eligible for CRP funds include on- and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation and projects that support the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles.

Other projects – determined by state and local governments but potentially supported with federal funding – include zero emission vehicles and facilities, projects that support congestion pricing and travel demand strategies, plus truck stop and port electrification systems. Public transportation projects such as the aforementioned BRT corridors, dedicated bus lanes, micro-mobility, and electric bike projects – which encompasses charging infrastructure as well – may also be eligible, FHWA said.

Environmental Highlights- April 27th, 2022

A roundup of headlines curated for state transportation environmental professionals


Federal Agencies, Including USDOT, Issue Equity Plans – AASHTO Journal

New battery technology key to US electric vehicle push, experts say – The Hill

‘Tangled Web’ of Laws, Regulations Stifles Carbon Capture Push – Bloomberg Law


Letter Renews Call for COVID Funding Flexibility – AASHTO Journal


How To Equitably Distribute Green Infrastructure – Planetizen

Federal maritime agency OK’s major Port of Long Beach rail facility – Los Angeles Daily News

Why The Future Of Corporate Sustainability Starts With Transportation – Forbes (Commentary)


Can Portland Be a Climate Leader Without Reducing Driving? – New York Times

Texas A&M University develops mobile testing unit to detect air quality after disasters – KBTX-TV

Best Practices: Zero-emissions bus planning – how do we get it right? – Mass Transit

There Aren’t Enough Batteries in the World to Power Our Huge Cars – Vice

Free Public Transit Is Not a Climate Policy – CityLab (Opinion)

FTA Recognizes 10 Transit Agencies for Reducing their Environmental Footprint, Tackling Climate Change – FTA (Media Release)


Evers creates new office of environmental justice – WEAU-TV


Wisconsin Study Supports Use of Liquid Brine – AASHTO Journal

New Mexico DOT begins roadside beautification program – KRQE-TV

DNR reinforces shoreline to improve Wisconsin River Watershed water quality – Wisconsin Rapids City Times

Denver has a new plan to catch up with the rest of the country on recycling and composting – Denverite


Michigan DOT Plays Key Role in Park Mobility MOU – AASHTO Journal

To Preserve America’s Past, National Park Service Turns to Innovation – Pew

Saskatchewan offers look at design of Treaty boundary signs – CKOM Radio

FEMA Focuses on Environmental Preservation to Fight Climate Change – FEMA (Media release)


Seaside Heights, NJ Introduces Ban of Powered Bikes, Scooters on Boardwalk – Lavallette-Seaside Shorebeat

On-demand transit expands across Georgia, putting pitches and criticisms to the test – Saporta Report

Denver will issue residents rebates for e-bike purchases beginning Friday – Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

NPS wants input on plans to make bike, pedestrian lanes on Ohio Drive SW near Hains Point in DC – WJLA-TV

New state in the top spot of our Bicycle Friendly States rankings – League of American Bicyclists (Media release)


Understanding the Effects of COVID-19 on Impaired Driving – TRB (Webinar)

Upcoming Clean Water Lectures 2022 – Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation


National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Regulations Revisions – Council on Environmental Quality (Final rule)

Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool Beta Version – Council on Environmental Quality (Notice of extension for request for information)

Renewal Package From the State of Utah to the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program and Proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Assigning Environmental Responsibilities to the State – FHWA (Notice of proposed MOU and request for comments.

Renewal Package From the State of Florida to the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program and Proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Assigning Environmental Responsibilities to the State – FHWA ( Notice of proposed MOU and request for comments)

Renewal Package From the State of California to the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program and Proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Assigning Environmental Responsibilities to the State – FHWA (Notice of proposed MOU and request for comments)

Approval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Jersey; Removal of Excess Emissions Provision – EPA (Proposed rule)

Noise Exposure Map Notice; Tampa International Airport (TPA), Tampa, Florida – FAA (Notice)

Lithium Battery Air Safety Advisory Committee; Notice of Public Meeting – Pipeline and Hazardous
Materials Safety Administration (Notice of public meeting)