Environmental News Highlights – June 1, 2022


AASHTO, NASAO Applaud Senate Committee For Approving Legislation To Support Advanced Air Mobility Planning – AASHTO

Greening The Federal Government’s Massive Procurement System – Forbes

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Holds Justice40 Week of Action to Highlight Historic Investments in Overburdened and Underserved Communities – White House (Factsheet)

USDOT Announces Initial $13 Million Funding Opportunity from Infrastructure Law for Transit Planning That Addresses Climate Change and Equity in Communities Nationwide – FTA (Media release)

USDOT Begins Accepting Applications for Program Designed to Improve Pipeline Safety, Reduce Gas Distribution Leaks in Communities Across US – USDOT (Media release)


Three ferry routes back at pre-pandemic service levels for start of busy season – Washington State DOT (Media release)


Texas State, San Marcos collaborate to provide eco-friendly transportation – University Star

With new agreement, Port of Alaska and Sandia lab to evaluate renewable energy for microgrid – Alaska Beacon

Electric vehicles tease a new energy source: Gravity – NBC News

LED Streetlight Replacement Projects Show Huge Savings – Government Technology

NCDOT Has Developed Early Flood-Warning System for Roads – North Carolina DOT (Media release)


Port of Virginia Plans to Run on 100-Percent Clean Electricity by 2024 – Maritime Executive


Transportation gaps may persist for rural older adults despite infrastructure dollars – NBC News

Equitable transportation guidelines adopted by Richmond City Council – Virginia Public Media

App to help blind people navigate public transit to debut in Washington – Reuters

Administrator Michael Regan x Broccoli City: An Environmental Justice Conversation – EPA (link video)

Pa.’s environmental justice policy gets revamped – and scrutinized – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It’s time for true equity in Oregon transportation fundingThe Bulletin (Commentary)


California Water Regulators Still Haven’t Considered the Growing Body of Research on the Risks of Oil Field Wastewater – Inside Climate News

A vicious cycle of oxygen loss threatens water quality in lakes – Virginia Tech

Bird houses erected near Litchfield as part of “Give Birds the Right of Way” program – Illinois DOT (Media release)


Artist Makes Own Traffic-Calming Measures – New Haven Independent


Navajo Nation Working to Expand Bicycling through New Trails, Kids’ Programs, and Racing – Cycling Utah

Nashville’s debris-filled bike lanes get their own sweeper – WPLN Radio

NJDOT Offers Free Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Assistance for Towns and Counties – Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Replace short car trips with e-bikes: report – ITS International

The Next Growth Spurt for Scooters Is in Partnerships – Government Technology


President Biden and U.S. Department of Transportation Announce $450 Million to Fund up to 35 University Transportation Centers – USDOT (Media release)


U.S. DOT FY22 Safe Streets and Roads for All Funding – Office of the Secretary, USDOT (Notice of Funding Opportunity)

FY 2022 Competitive Funding Opportunity: Pilot Program for Transit- Oriented Development Planning – FTA (Notice of Funding Opportunity)

Air Plan Approval; Missouri; Restriction of Emissions Credit for Reduced Pollutant Concentrations From the Use of Dispersion Techniques – EPA (Final rule)

Air Plan Approval; North Carolina; Repeal of Delegation Authority – EPA (Final rule)

Delegation of New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for the States of Arizona and California – EPA (Withdrawal of direct final rule)

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); Notice of Grant Funding Guidance for FY 2022 State and Tribal Response Program With Funding Provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – EPA (Notice)

Release of the Policy Assessment for the Reconsideration of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter – EPA (Notice of availability; policy assessment)

Proposed Determination To Prohibit and Restrict the Use of Certain Waters Within Defined Areas as Disposal Sites; Pebble Deposit Area, Southwest Alaska – EPA (Notice of availability and public

Notice of Application for Extension of Public Land Order No. 7555 and Opportunity for Public Meeting; AlaskaBureau of Land Management, Interior (Notice)

Final Guidance for Identification of Nonindustrial Private Forest Land – Natural Resources Conservation Service (Notice)

Gulf South Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Scoping Period Requesting Comments on Environmental Issues for the Proposed Index 130 MS River Replacement Project – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Notice)

Notice of Availability of Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Testing and Training Activities in the Patuxent River Complex – Department of the Navy (Notice)

Nominations for U.S. Commissioners to Regional Fisheries Management Organizations – National Marine Fisheries Service (Notice; call for nominations)

Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Stakeholder Representative Members of the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee – Army Corps of Engineers (Notice)

ETAP Podcast: COMTO and Equity in Transportation

In this episode of the Environmental Technical Assistance Program or ETAP Podcast, April Rai (seen above) – president and CEO of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) – provides an overview of efforts to promote equity in the transportation sector.

[Above photo by COMTO]

Though equity in transportation has become a major topic of interest in the past few years, it is not a new issue.

For example, COMTO – founded in 1961 – has sought to ensure opportunities and maximum participation in the transportation industry for minority individuals, veterans, people with disabilities, as well as minority, women, and disadvantaged business enterprises over the last 50-plus years.

In this podcast episode, Rai talks about how equity in transportation is becoming a “mainstream concern” and how COMTO seeks to show how equity heavily intersects with other key topics such as environmental justice, workforce diversity, public involvement, and more.

To listen to this podcast, click here.

Connecticut DOT Makes Fast EV Chargers Available

The Connecticut Department of Transportation recently made universal Level 3 “fast chargers” that can fully recharge an electric vehicle or EV in less than 30 minutes available at the I-95 Southbound service plaza in Madison, CT.

[Above photo by the Connecticut DOT]

The agency said this is the first set of universal access fast chargers at a Connecticut service plaza, with additional publicly available fast chargers at service plazas in New Canaan, Greenwich, and Fairfield expected to become available over the next several weeks.

Tesla-specific chargers are already in place at many Connecticut service plazas, operated by Project Service LLC, but these new Level 3 fast chargers are universal, meaning any EV can plug in and charge up.

Applegreen Electric, a private organization with over 500 fast EV charging bays across the globe, funded their installation, Connecticut DOT noted. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and require a credit card for payment.

“These universal fast chargers make it easier for people to travel to and through Connecticut. With convenient access to I-95 and I-395, families and travelers can grab a coffee or snack, charge up, and get back on the road more quickly and enjoy their summer plans,” Connecticut DOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti explained in a statement.

“The future of transportation is green transportation, and by providing these chargers at our clean and convenient service plazas, we are making sure Connecticut is EV ready,” he said.

 “Scaling up EV deployment across our state is a major component of our strategy to achieve our Greenhouse Gas Emissions goals and mitigate the climate crisis before it’s too late,” added Katie Dykes, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 

“The transportation sector is responsible for the majority of our greenhouse gas emissions (38 percent) and 66 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions, a significant contributor to harmful air pollution in our state,” she noted. “A key aspect of consumer adoption of EVs will be ease of use, ability to access charging infrastructure conveniently, and ability to charge quickly.”

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the National Association of State Energy Officials, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding on February 23 to coordinate nationwide investment in EV charging station infrastructure.

Jim Tymon, AASHTO’s executive director, explained in a statement that the MOU provides a “framework for collaboration” in response to the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program established by USDOT and DOE on February 10 to build and operate a nationwide network of EV charging stations.

Funding for that new program comes from the $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA signed into law in November 2021.