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.”