Committee on Environment and Sustainability Announces Annual Meeting Dates

The AASHTO Committee on Environment and Sustainability is excited to invite you to the committee’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas. The meeting will be held July 11th-14th at the Westin Downtown Austin. The meeting will feature speakers from state DOTs, the Federal Highway Administration, as well as other stakeholders. Registration for the annual meeting and hotel reservations can be completed here. We look forward to seeing you there!

If you have any questions regarding the event or registration, please contact, Jenn Billo ( or David Peters ( If you encounter any problems securing a room at the hotel, please contact Meghan Wozniak (

Environmental News Highlights – May 25, 2022

Bipartisan group pushes Senate to confirm environmental prosecutor to key EPA post – NPR

The Department of Justice’s strategy to advance environmental justice – The Hill (Opinion)

An Effective Climate and Energy Security “Grand Bargain” Is Within Reach – U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Commentary)

White House Releases Technical Assistance Guide to Help Communities Unlock Resources From Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – White House (Media Release)

A Fixed Route, Not Fixed Approach: Adapting Fixed-Route Transit for Optimal Accessibility & Equity in a Pandemic – Mineta Transportation Institute

MTA commuter railroads set pandemic-era ridership records Mass Transit

L.A. County extends mask mandate for public transit – KTLA-TV


Four Orgs Sue FAA Over Rocket Launch Site Near National Seashore – Law Street


Oregon DOT asks public where to put new electric vehicle chargers – Oregon Capital Chronicle

Urge Adoption of Coastal Resiliency Plan – East Hampton Star

The Unlikely Ascent of New York’s Compost Champion – New York Times

From alternative fuels to rationing trips: A guide to more sustainable flying – CNN

How to Make a City Safer for E-Bikes? Think Infrastructure – CityLab

Washington State Agencies Relate Successes, Challenges to VMT Reduction – Municipal Research and Services Center (Blog)


Hydrogen and electric vehicles are future of transportation: expert – Rocky Mountain Outlook

Hawaii lawmakers pass bill to create zero-emission future for transportationKITV-TV

Local residents measure air quality for Monterey Bay Air District’s wildfire monitoring network – Mercury News

Port of Seattle wants world’s first cruise-led green corridor – The Center Square

Smart traffic management offers greater emissions control – Computer Weekly

Emissions admissions, train troubles and a surveillance network – More details emerge about Utah’s inland port – Salt Lake Tribune


Push for environmental justice in underserved communities gains traction in Arizona – Arizona Republic

Wisconsin Makes New Commitment to Environmental Justice and Disaster Preparedness – Pew


How the National Park plans to improve traffic, safety on the Gatlinburg Spur while protecting wildlife – WATE-TV

EPA rejects Montana’s new water quality standards – Bitterroot Star

ExxonMobil sues Santa Barbara County over oil transportation denial – Cal Coast News

Careful landscape and lawn practices protect water quality – Holland Sentinel (Commentary)

High time for SCOTUS to clarify what constitutes ‘waters of the United States’ – Orange County Register (Opinion)


State DOTs Supporting National Bike Month – AASHTO Journal

Maine group looking to convert old railroad tracks into trail – WCSH-TV

Texas tornado survivor joins TXDOT seatbelt campaign – KTAL-TV

E-bike injury rate increasing in some locations with scooter trauma expected to spike again this summer – San Diego Union-Tribune

Continuous hiking trail to stretch across major ridges in Washington’s Tri-Cities – KEPR-TV


Enhancing Public Health Equity through Transportation – TRB (Webinar)

Using E-Bike Purchase Incentive Programs to Expand the Market – Transportation Research and Education Center, Portland State University (Whitepaper)

Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts – National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (Workshop proceedings)

NMDOT To Host Public Meeting Webinars On Building Out Electric Vehicle Charging InfrastructureNew Mexico DOT (Media release)


Proposed Revisions to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation ServiceNatural Resources Conservation Service (Notice of availability; request for comments)

Air Plan Approval; Missouri; St. Louis Area Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program – EPA (Proposed rule)

Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC): Notice of Meeting – EPA (Notice)

Notice of Meeting of the National Parks Overflights Advisory Group – FAA (Notice)

National Chemical Transportation Safety Advisory Committee; June 2022 Meetings – U.S. Coast Guard (Notice)

Wyoming DOT Wins Environmental Award for Bridge Project

The Wyoming Department of Transportation recently received a 2022 Environmental Excellence Award in the category of Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife from the Federal Highway Administration for its role in the Snake River Bridge reconstruction and wildlife crossing integration project. The award is one of 14 conferred by FHWA nationwide in various environmental categories. 

[Above photo by the Wyoming DOT]

Wyoming DOT – along with the Wyoming Game and Fish agency, Teton County, and other community organizations – designed a project for the replacement of a critical bridge on Wyoming Highway 22 over the Snake River, near Jackson, and expanded it to accommodate local and migrating wildlife within the Greater Yellowstone National Park ecosystem.

FHWA cited Wyoming DOT’s exemplary “achievement and extensive stakeholder collaboration, community engagement, and environmental considerations” in granting the award.

The wildlife underpasses and three additional wildlife crossings built by this project should provide for “safer movements”, especially for large animals such as moose, elk, and deer. 

The agency is also implementing additional improvements that will enhance recreation and natural resource education in the nearby Rendezvous Park with work that will include increasing wetlands along ponds, constructing a boardwalk, and making a swimming hole deeper. 

Construction on this project should begin in the spring of 2023, Wyoming DOT noted.

This follows a joint effort by Wyoming DOT and the Wyoming Game and Fish agency launched in 2019 that committed a combined $2.5 million toward installing wildlife crossings along US 189 in southwest Wyoming – known as the “Dry Piney” project – to help reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions.

The purpose of the improvements is to support positive public interaction with the natural environment while addressing the needs of the ecosystem, noted Wyoming DOT Director Luke Reiner in a statement.

“We appreciate the recognition and affirmation from the FHWA that this is a special project that will benefit not just the transportation of motorists but of wildlife, too,” said WYDOT director Luke Reiner. “I am grateful to our partners who were instrumental in shaping this project into an award-winning success.”

State departments of transportation in many parts of the country are working to improve wildlife crossings across a variety of transportation projects.

For example, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife agencies completed wildlife underpasses along a rural stretch of Interstate 25 between Colorado’s two largest cities, Denver and Colorado Springs, in October 2021.

That wildlife mitigation system is part of a $419 million transportation improvement project – known as the I-25 South Gap project – that aims to improve safety and travel on 18 miles of I-25 south of the Denver metropolitan region; a route that more than 87,000 motorists use on a daily basis.

In February, the Nevada Department of Transportation began closing stretches of U.S. 50 between State Route 341 and Chaves Road in Dayton, NV, to install high livestock fencing on both sides of the highway largely along rural roadway stretches to reduce vehicle-horse collisions.

The Nevada DOT is also placing roadway lighting on the highway at the end of each fenced section for enhanced visibility for motorists.

In addition, in April, the Oregon Department of Transportation recently received a special one-time allocation of $7 million in general funds from the Oregon legislature to invest in wildlife corridor projects statewide. The Oregon DOT said it has had “great success” with wildlife undercrossing structures in recent years, with five crossings built to date in the state, all on U.S. 97, leading to an 86 percent reduction in wildlife-vehicle collisions.

PennDOT Wins Governor’s Award for State Litter Action Plan

Governor Tom Wolf (D) recently presented a group of employees from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with Governor’s Awards for Excellence in recognition of their efforts to develop the first-ever Pennsylvania Litter Action Plan, unveiled in December 2021.

[Above photo by PennDOT]

The Governor’s Awards for Excellence recognize exemplary job performance or service that reflects initiative, leadership, innovation, and increased efficiency. The PennDOT and DEP team was among 50 employees from 12 state agencies honored by Governor Wolf for exceptional accomplishments in 2021.

Through coordination with over 100 stakeholders, the employees from both state agencies spearheaded the development of a plan with the goal to shift the focus of Pennsylvania’s response to litter from cleanup to prevention. The plan includes resources and suggestions for the General Assembly, state agencies, local governments, and the public.

The honorees are Natasha Fackler, former policy director for PennDOT; Emily Watts, former executive policy specialist at PennDOT; Jessica Shirley, former DEP policy director; and Kate Cole, DEP’s current policy director.

“It’s clear that in order to truly see less litter in Pennsylvania, we need to focus on getting people not to litter in the first place,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian, in a statement. “The Litter Action Plan provides real solutions that can be implemented at the state, local, and individual level to help make a cleaner Pennsylvania for all of us. I’m so proud of the work that this team has done to develop this plan.”

“This award is very well deserved and represents the work that this team has done to keep the Keystone State litter free,” added DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “This plan is needed because of the growing – and frankly disgusting – problem of litter polluting our lands and waters. The Litter Action Plan sets us on a path to a cleaner, more beautiful Pennsylvania.”

PennDOT said it spends roughly $14 million each year on litter cleanup statewide, while DEP has funded “Pick Up Pennsylvania” community litter cleanups and illegal dumpsite cleanups for over two decades – supporting volunteers in removing many tons of trash from the land and waters. 

The persistence of littering prompted PennDOT and DEP to collaborate with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful to conduct the first comprehensive state study to inform development of the Litter Action Plan, with a focus on changing littering behavior. “It is my privilege to congratulate the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for their vital and mission-based work to develop the state’s first-ever Litter Action Plan,” noted Shannon Reiter, president of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “The plan’s blueprint for implementing preventive measures and behavior changing strategies to reduce littering in Pennsylvania will benefit and positively impact the health, safety, and beauty of whole communities all across the Commonwealth.”

Environmental News Highlights – May 18, 2022


State DOTs Say Local Partners Help Achieve Goals – AASHTO Journal

Seventeen states sue EPA for letting California set vehicle standards – The Hill

Biden administration vows to speed up environmental permits needed for infrastructure projects – States Newsroom

EPA blocks bid to review basis for climate regs – E&E News

MARAD Adds $234.3 Million to Bolster America’s Port Infrastructure – MARAD (Media release)


Airlines press U.S. to lift pre-departure testing requirements – Reuters

DC Metro exploring possibility of mask-only cars – WTOP Radio


Panel moves bill to scrap NEPA study of Postal Service fleet – E&E News


NCDOT seeks grant to study moving Ocracoke ferry terminal – Coastal Review

Indiana Officials Ask Public to Weigh in on Electric-Vehicle Infrastructure – Public News Service

Watertown officials discuss report on hydroelectric plant – Watertown Daily Times

EV Infrastructure Vulnerabilities Put Cars, the Grid at Risk – Route Fifty

FAA tests airfield lighting with solar energy – Aviacionline

Delaware Extends Electric Vehicle Rebate Program – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (Media Release)


Colorado Moving Forward with Clean Truck Strategy – AASHTO’s Center for Environmental Excellence

Reducing harmful air pollution has led to a surprising effect – more hurricanes in the North Atlantic – CNN


EV Charging Station Map Highlights Infrastructure Disparities – Route Fifty

Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg Outlines Where Opportunities Meet For The Black Community And Biden’s $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Law – BET


EPA, Corps Moving Forward on WOTUS Rules Update – ENR

Smart buoys return to Lake Erie to help monitor water quality and conditions –


NMDOT struggles to keep pace with illegal encampmentsAlbuquerque Journal


The Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America – Current Affairs

National Bike Month ride will bring Utahns from Ogden to Provo together in active transit -Standard-Examiner

Cincinnati officials are considering a ‘total ban’ on e-scooters, records show – WVXU Radio

City of Aspen moving toward mandatory e-bike education – Aspen Times

IndyGo Announces Wellness in Transit Pilot, Offering Free HealthcareIndianapolis Public Transportation Corp. (Media release)


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


Notice To Establish the Advisory Committee on Transportation EquityUSDOT, Office of the Secretary (Notice)

Solicitation of Nominations for Membership to the Advisory Committee on Transportation EquityUSDOT, Office of the Secretary (Notice)

National Hazardous Materials Route RegistryFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (Notice; revisions to the listing of designated and restricted routes for hazardous materials)

Establishment of the Corridor Identification and Development Program – FRA (Notice of establishment; request for expressions of interest)

Early Scoping Notice for the Kitsap County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority Proposed Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Facility ProjectFTA (Early scoping notice)

Determination To Defer Sanctions; California; San Diego County Air Pollution Control District – EPA (Interim final determination)

Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; San Diego County Air Pollution Control District; Permits – EPA (Proposed rule)

Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska – Applicability and Scope; Tongass National Forest Submerged Lands – Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service (Proposed rule)

Call for Nominations for the California Desert District Advisory Council and the Northern California District and Central California Resource Advisory Councils – Bureau of Land Management (Notice)

Oregon DOT Commits $100M to EV Charging Infrastructure

The Oregon Department of Transportation is committing $100 million over the next five years to build out Oregon’s public electric vehicle charging network on several major road corridors, as well as in local communities statewide.

[Above photo by the Oregon DOT]

The Oregon Transportation Commission approved that funding amount – which comes from a mix of federal and state sources – at its March 30 meeting.

The Oregon DOT said about two-thirds of the funding — $52 million from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act plus a required 20 percent match — must be spent on EV charging infrastructure along “Alternative Fuel Corridors,” as per guidance from the Federal Highway Administration.

Alternative Fuel Corridors are roads approved by the FHWA on which states may use federal funding to build alternative fuel infrastructure. Electricity is an alternative fuel, and Oregon has seven corridors approved for federally funded EV charging: Interstates 5, 84, 82, and U.S. 26, 101, 20, and 97.

The remaining third of the money — $36 million — will be used to close EV infrastructure gaps beyond those seven corridors. More charging sites in rural and urban areas, underserved communities, and apartment complexes will allow more Oregonians to charge where they live, work, and play, noted Amanda Pietz, administrator for Oregon DOT’s policy, data & analysis division, in a statement.

“We know that range anxiety is a big factor in people’s reluctance to make the switch to electric vehicles, especially in more rural parts of the state,” said Pietz. “This investment will build Oregonians’ confidence that an EV can fit into their lives and get them where they need to go.”

She noted this $100 million investment focuses on building out charging infrastructure for light-duty EVs like cars, sport utility vehicles, and trucks because “demand is high and the technology is mature.”

Electrifying Oregon’s transportation system is a “key outcome” outlined in Oregon DOT’s Strategic Action Plan, and part of the state’s push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and address the climate change crisis.

“Money doesn’t surmount all barriers,” said Pietz. “Regulations and policies that benefit electrification play a role, too, and we rely on our partner agencies for help there. Couple that with our other work and investments in walking and rolling, bicycling, and congestion pricing, and we can move the needle on transportation emissions in a big way.”

Louisiana DOTD Wins Award for Brine Management

Scott Boyle (seen above), assistant administrator of operations for District 2 of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, recently received an award on behalf of his district’s handling of brine disposal.

[Above photo by the Louisiana DOTD. Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng (at left) presents a ‘Certificate of Merit’ to Louisiana DOTD’s Scott Boyle.]

Louisiana DOTD’s District 2 received the 2022 Environmental Leadership Award from the Jefferson Parish Department of Environmental Affairs for its efforts to dispose of excess brine used in winter road clearing operations to minimize the impact on the local water table.

In January, in preparation for an anticipated ice storm in the greater New Orleans area, Louisiana DOTD produced nearly 1,800 gallons of brine to combat ice on the region’s most critical roads and bridges. However, once the weather event was over, a surplus of brine remained.

“In the past, we have tried to store the brine in stationary tanks, but algae growth and the degradation of the solution from heat and sunlight prevented us from re-using the brine for future winter events,” said Boyle in a statement. “Knowing that this material needed to be disposed of responsibly, we contacted the Jefferson Parish Storm Water Management team for guidance.”

Louisiana DOTD then worked with the Jefferson Parish Bridge City Wastewater Treatment Plant – located next to District 2’s headquarters – to dispose of the brine. The mixture was disposed of on a drying bed located on the treatment plant property, filtering out a portion of the salt before introducing the salted water into the plant slowly so it would not shock or upset the wastewater treatment process.

According to Jefferson Parish, these awards recognize those individuals, businesses, or organizations that strive for environmental leadership through programs and actions that improve stormwater quality and/or quantity, thereby reducing the amount of pollution that enters Jefferson Parish waterways.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized for our partnership with Jefferson Parish as [Louisiana] DOTD ensures that we are doing our part to improve our surrounding waterway quality,” Boyle said. “Actions can have significant impacts on the region that we love to live and play in.”

Announcing Center for Environmental Excellence Resilience Webinars

The Center for Environmental Excellence in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration invites you to join in parts two and three of a three-part webinar series on Resilience. The webinars will include speakers from various state DOTs as well as FHWA and AASHTO. Find further description and registration, as well as recording and meeting materials from the first session below:

Reducing the effects of climate change on transportation infrastructure using natural and nature-based solutions (5/9/22)

Recording and meeting materials:

Integration of climate change projections in hydrologic and hydraulic design in transportation projects (5/31/22)


Future climate conditions, including increased precipitation and sea-level rise, are anticipated to impact the structural performance, and therefore, the functionality of our transportation facilities. As such, the integration of climate considerations into the design of transportation facilities is an important step in ensuring that target levels of facility performance are met as climate conditions change. This integration, however, is not yet a standard practice included in hydrologic and hydraulic design. Engineers can benefit from being provided with methods and tools that facilitate the integration of climate considerations, especially of scientific advances that have proven to be effective in engineering decision-making. This webinar will feature selected methods and tools used by transportation agencies in the United States and overseas to account for climate data in the hydrologic and hydraulic design of transportation facilities.

Integrating Natural Hazard Resilience into the Transportation Planning Process (7/6/22) also from 1-2:30 EST


Climate change and other natural hazards may threaten lives, property, and other assets. Often, natural hazards can be predicted. They tend to occur repeatedly in the same geographical locations because they are related to the weather patterns and physical characteristics of an area. At whatever stage a planning agency is in its planning cycle, there are resilience-related actions that can be taken in order to begin appropriately integrating natural hazard considerations into the transportation planning process. Currently, there has been a resurgence of interest in resilience-based planning activities due to the frequency of natural disasters, the global movement to fight climate change, and even due to the emphasis on planning for resilience in the recent federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This webinar will provide an overview and integrate key examples showing how transportation planning agencies can most appropriately and effectively integrate resilience into the transportation planning process.

Environmental News Highlights – May 11, 2022


Former USDOT Secretary Norm Mineta Dies – AASHTO Journal

DOJ and EPA Announce New Enforcement Strategy to Advance Environmental Justice – National Law Review

White House Wants to Ensure Good Stewardship of Infrastructure Funds – Government Executive

Senate committee advances package to fund recreation infrastructure, public lands access – Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

Biden’s new environmental justice chief faces a tough task – Washington Post


CDC Reissues Mask Recommendation On Planes And Public Transportation Across America As Much Of The Northeast Moves Into “High Transmission” Category – Deadline

TSA Reports 50% Rise in COVID-19 Amongst Staffers in the Two Weeks Since the Mask Mandate Was Lifted – Your Own Kanoo

Unruly air passenger rates declined in the U.S. after mask mandates were suspended. – New York Times


What is NEPA? – Utah Public Radio


White House to Help States Plan for National EV Charging Network – Transport Topics

Illinois to put remaining VW settlement money toward EV infrastructure – Mass Transit

Smart Pavement Powering EV Charging, In-road Traffic Sensors – Route Fifty

When it’s impossible to fight rising sea levels, should we move somewhere else? – San Francisco Examiner

How Houston Is Growing its Bike Infrastructure – Planetizen


Alaska DOT&PF Part of Low Emission Ferry Project – AASHTO Journal

WYDOT Will Request Exemptions to Federal Electric Vehicle Charging Program – Cowboy State Daily

How Does Transit Help the Climate?The Equation (Blog)


Equity in Electric Vehicle Charging – AASHTO’s ETAP Podcast

San Francisco to keep cars off popular Golden Gate Park road – AP


UAS Improve Environmental Data Collection – FHWA Innovator

ADOT relies upon groups for trash clean up – Wickenburg Sun

Nonprofit report points to outdated Clean Water Act for the miles of polluted rivers across the U.S. – Great Lakes Now

The Fight Over Managed Retreat – Malibu Magazine

SpaceX Starbase expansion plans will harm endangered species, according to Fish and Wildlife Service – CNBC

Caltrans Spotlights Top Six Pollutants Degrading California’s Water Quality – Caltrans (Media release)


What Historic Preservation Is Doing to American Cities – The Atlantic


Report: Switch to EVs Could Deliver $1.2T in Health Benefits – AASHTO Journal

Colorado safety stop legislation expects to create ‘bicycle-friendly’ communities – Greeley Tribune

New Rules Could Drastically Impact Use of Motorized Scooters in San Diego – KNSD -TV

The E-Bike Effect Is Transforming New York City – CityLab

California Targets Loud Exhaust with Sound-Activated Camera Enforcement – Autoweek

Experts Point to Safe Spaces Away From Busy Streets, Like Trails, As Essential to Inspiring People to Be Active – Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (Media Release)


Sustainability and Emerging Transportation Technology (SETT) Conference – TRB


National Bridge Inspection Standards – FHWA (Final rule)

Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards; Extension of Comment PeriodEPA (Notice; extension of public comment period)

Noise Exposure Maps Notice for Piedmont Triad International Airport, Greensboro, North Carolina – FAA (Notice)

Colorado Moving Forward with Clean Truck Strategy

The administration of Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) recently finalized its Clean Truck Strategy – initially unveiled in March – after what the governor described as “extensive public input.”

[Above photo by the Colorado DOT]

Developed by the Colorado Energy Office, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, the 27-page Clean Truck Strategy seeks to encourage the adoption of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks statewide, potentially reducing greenhouse gas or GHG emissions from those vehicles by at least 45 percent in Colorado by 2050.

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles covered by Colorado’s Clean Truck Strategy include tractor-trailers, school buses, snowplows, delivery vans, large pick-up trucks, and many different vehicle types in between.

A separate 147-page study compiled by the Colorado Energy Office found that medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are the second-largest source of GHG emissions in the transportation sector, producing 22 percent of on-road GHG emissions despite making up less than 10 percent of the total Colorado vehicle population.

That study found if Colorado pursues an “accelerated transition” to zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle models, it could cut GHG emissions by 45 percent to 59 percent, reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 54 percent to 93 percent, and reduce particulate matter emissions by 53 percent to 68 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

Those three state agencies said they would continue collaborating with stakeholders and initiating implementation on “near-term” actions over the next few months, including:

Those agencies also expect to update the Clean Truck Strategy every two years to respond to “evolving market and lessons” learned from implementing the plan’s near-term requirements. “Colorado has enormous opportunities to reduce pollution and improve quality of life by transitioning from diesel to zero-emission trucks and buses,” explained Will Toor, executive director of the Colorado Energy Office, in a statement. “This strategic plan creates a framework for achieving big things through investment, collaboration, and regulation.”