ETAP Podcast: The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

The latest episode of the Environmental Technical Assistance Program or ETAP podcast features Becky Bradley (above at left), executive director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission or LVPC, to highlight her organization’s efforts spearheading environmentally sound and resilient transportation infrastructure projects in the Lehigh Valley region on eastern Pennsylvania.

[Above photo via the LVPC]

The ETAP podcast – an AASHTO technical service program for state departments of transportation– explores a wide array of environmental topics that affect transportation and infrastructure programs.

In this episode, Bradley details how LPVC – Metropolitan Planning Organization or MPO, originally formed in 1961 – coordinates transportation infrastructure projects with local community leaders and businesses. Their goal is to attain economic benefits and enhance the quality of life for the region while simultaneously protecting public health and the environment. To achieve this objective, LVPC offers a variety of resources and services – including technical assistance, research programs, and publications covering topics such as mapping through Geographic Information Systems or GIS, fitting local ordinances within comprehensive transportation plans, and much more. 

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

KYTC Transforms Fallen Trees into Valuable Mulch

A recent video from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet illustrates how it worked with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and other state agencies on a “debris-to-mulch” project that turned thousands of trees downed by major flooding across Eastern Kentucky earlier this year into beneficial mulch.

[Above image via the KYTC]

For the first few weeks after the flooding, KYTC crews focused on removed debris while re-opening several roads and bridges – repairing and replacing damaged bridges with temporary structures.

That work removed more than 403,000 tons of debris from waterways and rights-of-way in Eastern Kentucky as part of the agency’s flood cleanup efforts. The initiative eliminated debris from 48 damaged vehicles while clearing 615 miles of streams and creeks.

Nearly 100,000 tons of wood debris were sent to one of two Kentucky mulching facilities for re-use as part of this program, KYTC noted in the video.

That wood debris ultimately produced about 160,000 cubic yards of mulch; equivalent to almost 2.1 million bags of the mulch product typically sold in home improvement stores, the agency said.

Environmental News Highlights – August 9, 2023


Joint Office of Energy and Transportation establishes new EV working group -Green Car Congress

Biden Administration Split over Ethanol’s Role in Aviation Fuel Subsidy Program –Reuters

In national race to build EV chargers, a few states emerge as big winners -Route Fifty

6 months after the East Palestine train derailment, Congress is deadlocked on new rules for safety –AP

Tesla Seeks Nearly $100 Million In Gov’t Funds To Create California-Texas Electric Semi Charging Network –Carscoops



Downtown Travel Has Not Recovered from COVID-19, Data Shows -Government Technology


Love Field Airport harnessing wind gusts from planes to make energy -KERA Radio

This Development Wants Residents to Ditch Their Cars. In Phoenix. –Bloomberg

Charging infrastructure ‘biggest bump in the road’ for electric vehicle take-up –Reuters

AI-Assisted Mapmaking: The Future of Cartography and Geographic Visualization –CityLife

Well-attended meeting sparks extended comment period on Humboldt Bay offshore wind terminal plans -Times-Standard

North America’s First Solar Panel Recycling Plant Opens in Yuma, Arizona



Buttigieg says US ‘green corridors’ initiative is key to cutting shipping industry emissions –AP

Illinois transit bill includes reduced fares, requires zero-emission busesWMAQ-TV



Talking Geotechnical Investigations with OKDOT -AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast

EPA’s National Plastics Plan Flouts Sea Pollution, Chemical Use -Bloomberg Law

Gowanus Canal Visit Offers an Educational Opportunity to Environmental Science and Policy Student -Columbia University


Some U.S. national parks are trying to go carbon-free. What does that mean for visitors? -National Geographic

Say no to pesticides, yes to goats: Austin nonprofit uses goats to manage invasive plants along Lady Bird Lake Trail -Daily Texan

One of America’s most famous streets is getting its biggest makeover since 1974 -Washington Post (opinion)


New utility bridge could impact Harrisburg cyclists and pedestrians for the better -WPMT-TV

Why San Francisco. bicyclists are divided over a new bikeway in the Mission District -San Francisco Chronicle

Proposed bike highways could make biking easier, more accessible across Metro Vancouver (BC)Vancouver Sun

North American cities need to push for secure bicycle parking -Momentum (commentary)


Integrating Resilience Concepts and Strategies into Transportation Planning: A Guide –NCHRP

Telework Transportation Research in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic –TRB

Webinar to focus on active transportation planning in communities -Pennsylvania State University


National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Regulations Revisions Phase 2Council on Environmental Quality (Notice of proposed rulemaking)

FY 2023 Emergency Relief Grants for Public Transportation Systems Affected by Major Declared Disasters in Calendar Years 2017, 2020, 2021, and 2022 -FTA (Notice of re-opening application submissions and revised requirements)

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program: Standards for 2023–2025 and Other Changes; Correction -EPA (Final rule; correction)

Notice of Adoption of Policy Statement on Climate Change and Historic Preservation -Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Notice)

Water Resources Development Act 2020, Section 128 Harmful Algal Bloom Demonstration Program Draft Environmental Assessment -Army Corps of Engineers (Notice of availability; request for comment)

Extension of Comment Period for Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Matagorda Ship Channel Improvement Project, Calhoun and Matagorda Counties, TX -Army Corps of Engineers (Notice)

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia -Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (Notice; request for comments)

Request for Information: Center for Maritime Innovation -MARAD (Notice)

Request for Information: National Strategy for a Sustainable Ocean Economy -Office of Science and Technology Policy (Notice; extension of comment deadline)

National Navigation Safety Advisory Committee; Vacancies -Coast Guard (Request for applications)