Oregon DOT Program Offers EV Charging System Rebates

State residents living in multifamily homes as well as motorists near public parking areas may soon have better access to electric vehicle or EV charging stations, thanks to the new Community Charging Rebates Program being rolled out by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

[Above photo by the Oregon DOT]

The agency said this rebate – which will range from $4,250 to $5,500 per charging port or up to 75 percent of eligible project costs, whichever is less – should help lower the cost of buying, installing, and maintaining Level 2 and Level 1 EV charging stations at multifamily homes and publicly accessible parking areas across Oregon.

[Editor’s note: A recent American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials video of a knowledge session held at its 2022 Annual Meeting featured panelists from the Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida DOTs discussing their respective plans for National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure or NEVI program funds.]

The Oregon DOT said this new rebate program, which launches in mid-to-late June 2023, will feature four rounds of funding through at least 2024. The first round runs from June through August and will make $1.75 million available for eligible EV charging projects, with 70 percent of first-round funding reserved for projects in rural areas and disadvantaged communities, where gaps in EV charging infrastructure are largest, the agency said.

People living in rural areas face longer travel distances and fewer EV charging options in Oregon, the agency noted, with 32 percent of state residents living in rural areas while only 12% of EVs are registered in rural areas.

“For many current and prospective EV drivers, reliable and accessible charging where they live, work and play is an important factor,” explained said Suzanne Carlson, director of the Oregon DOT climate office, in a statement. “Our new rebate program will help close gaps in charging infrastructure and increase EV adoption rates.”

She noted that lack of at-home EV charging options is a persistent barrier for people living in multifamily homes. This barrier is reflected in Oregon EV registration data: nearly 80 percent of EVs are registered in areas where most residences are single-family homes as compared to multifamily homes.

Oregon DOT said its rebate program should help lower that barrier. It will apply to Level 2 and Level 1 charger projects at apartment, condominium, co-op, and townhouse locations that have at least five residences, and at least five parking spaces. Meanwhile, so-called “charging-on-the-go” is viewed as both convenient for EV drivers and a potential boon for local businesses.

That part of the agency’s rebate program applies to Level 2 projects in publicly accessible parking areas like restaurants, grocery stores, gyms, coffee shops, libraries, parks, movie theaters, and more. Drivers can park and charge their EV while they go about their day, with Level 2 chargers can adding 25 miles of range per hour on some vehicles, Oregon DOT noted.

Michigan DOT Preps for Spring Highway Cleanings

The Michigan Department of Transportation is preparing to give roadsides along state highways their first full cleanings of 2023 in what the agency said has become an annual “rite of spring” statewide.

[Above photo by the Michigan DOT]

The agency said state workers and members of its Adopt-A-Highway program will pick up litter from along roadsides in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula April 22-30. The first such pickup for roadsides in the Upper Peninsula occurs May 6-14, when spring weather has had “more time to set in” for the northern part of the state.

“Our thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers are dedicated to keeping roadsides in their communities clean,” noted Michigan DOT Acting Director Brad Wieferich in a statement.

“They make a huge difference every year,” he added. “Let’s help them stay safe while they’re out there – keep an eye out for the volunteers and drive cautiously during the pickup periods.”

The agency said its Adopt-A-Highway program, which began in 1990, now includes nearly 2,900 groups that have adopted more than 6,000 miles of state highway. Annually, those volunteers pick up litter three times per year and typically collect 60,000 to 70,000 bags of trash; a service worth an estimated $5 million value yearly for the state.

Several state departments of transportation across the country have already activated similar spring litter cleanup events and public awareness campaigns regarding roadway trash.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation recently initiated a months-long effort aimed at removing debris and sprucing up roadways statewide.

“We will dedicate increased resources to collecting litter, removing graffiti, pruning trees, and mowing grass on the 2,300 miles of state highways,” noted New Jersey DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti in a statement. “NJDOT’s Highway Operations Technicians will be working hard to tackle litter hot spots and keep the shoulders, medians, and ramps on our roadways clean and litter free.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation recently launched a new public outreach effort called “Think Before You Throw!” as part of its ongoing awareness campaign to reduce littering on state highways and roads.

The “Think Before You Throw!” initiative aims to reduce roadside litter along the state’s more than 150,000 miles of roads by raising awareness of the negative environment impact of trash, for both state residents and the nearly 100 million tourists who visit annually.

In March, the Maryland Department of Transportation launched “Operation Clean Sweep Maryland,” a new initiative that will nearly double the frequency of litter pickup and mowing efforts along state roads.

This new effort – which began in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., regions – is under the purview of the Maryland State Highway Administration, one of Maryland DOT’s modal divisions.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Department of Transportation sponsors an annual litter prevention campaign – called “Nobody Trashes Tennessee” – with Keep Tennessee Beautiful affiliates and Adopt-A-Highway groups.

In November 2022, more than 1,300 volunteers statewide removed more than 48,000 pounds of litter in their communities as part of its month-long “No Trash November” roadway cleanup effort.

Concurrently, in August 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation joined several fellow state agencies to help launch a new anti-litter campaign entitled “PA Fights Dirty: Every Litter Bit Matters.” The creation of this campaign is one of the many recommendations made by Pennsylvania’s first-ever Litter Action Plan, released in December 2021. That plan also won a Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for Excellence in May 2022.

Environmental News Highlights – April 26, 2023


Biden signs order prioritizing ‘environmental justice’ -ABC News

Buttigieg Discusses Rural Infrastructure Needs vs Funding -Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network

Federal bills for recycling infrastructure grants, composting strategies make a comeback -Waste Dive

FHWA Opens Applications for $848 Million in Competitive Grant Funding to Make Roads, Bridges, Transit, Rail, and Ports More Resilient to Climate Change -FHWA (media release)


California’s port truck-charging plan gets a jolt from big investors -Reuters

Number of Alternative Fueling Stations Nearly Doubles Since 2020; EV Charging Leads the Way -USDOT, Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Electric school buses serve as mini power plants during the summer -WBUR Radio

Climate Change Is Prompting Cities to Reassess Resiliency -Government Technology

Capitol Corridor, San Joaquins Transitioning to Renewable Diesel -Railway Age

Mississippi Governor Signs Bills Investing Over $2 Billion Toward Transportation and Infrastructure Improvements -Mississippi Governor’s Office (media release)


New Vehicle Emissions Rules Could Speed the EV Revolution -Route Fifty

A quarter of Americans live with polluted air, with people of color and those in Western states disproportionately affected, report says -CNN

New York MTA Commits to Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions 85% by 2040Metropolitan Transportation Authority (media release)


Autism Transit Project Expands To Four More Cities -Campaign US

New Evidence Links Transit Cuts With Poverty and Unemployment -Governing

New Jersey Governor Announces Nation’s First Environmental Justice Rules to Reduce Pollution in Vulnerable Communities -New Jersey Governor’s Office (media release)

WVU transportation center will bring mobility to rural areas, opening access to country roads -West Virginia University (media release)


NCDOT Highway Right-of-Ways Win Wildflower Awards -AASHTO Journal

Maine DEP Warns Railroad to Clean Up Environment Surrounding Train Derailment Site to Department’s Satisfaction -Maine Department of Environmental Protection (media release)

Lake Tahoe’s clear water is due to tiny creatures called Zooplankton, researchers say -NPR

New USDOT Program Meets Vehicle Collisions with Wildlife Head On -Daily Yonder

Latest in fight for national clean water protections -Southern Environmental Law Center

NJDOT’s annual litter removal campaign begins -NJDOT (media release)


Embracing the 15-Minute City: 7 Reasons why Bicycles Are the Perfect Mode of Transportation -Momentum Mag

How western states are trying to solve ski resort traffic -Axios


National Academies Launch New Climate Crossroads Initiative -National Academies

TRB Webinar: Toward a Touchless Airport Journey -ACRP

Development of a Guide for Accommodating Utilities within Highways and Freeways -NCHRP

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety in Bus Rapid Transit and High-Priority Bus Corridors -TCRP

Impacts of Trains Longer Than 7,500 Feet Meeting #5 -National Academies


Renewed and Amended Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Assigning Environmental Responsibilities to the State of Utah; CorrectionUtah Division Office, FHWA (Correction)

Development of the National Levee Safety Program -Army Corps of Engineers (Notice)

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the North of Lake Okeechobee Storage Reservoir Section 203 Study, Highlands County, FloridaArmy Corps of Engineers (Notice)

California State Non-road Engine Pollution Control Standards; Large Spark-Ignition (LSI) Engines; Notice of Decision -EPA (Notice of decision)

Public Hearing for Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles -EPA (Notification of public hearing)

Air Plan Approval; Texas; Updates to Public Notice and Procedural Rules and Removal of Obsolete Provisions -EPA (Proposed rule)

Air Plan Disapproval; Texas; Contingency Measures for the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Ozone Nonattainment Areas -EPA (Proposed rule)

Air Plan Approval; Idaho: Inspection and Maintenance Program Removal; Extension of Comment Period; Correction -EPA (Proposed rule; extension of comment period and correction)

Proposed Settlement Agreement, Clean Water Act and Administrative Procedure Act Claims -EPA (Notice; request for public comment)

Organization, Functions, and Procedures; Functions and Procedures; Forest Service Functions: -Forest Service (Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comment)

Notice of Availability of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Approval of Herbicide Active Ingredients for Use on Public Lands -Bureau of Land Management (Notice)

Request for Applicants for Appointment to the Aviation Security Advisory Committee -TSA (Committee management; request for applicants)