Environmental News Highlights – September 14, 2022


Biden administration launches website to help navigate extreme weather, other climate hazards – WHIO-TV

How Biden could help U.S. reach climate goals on his own – Washington Post

Empty Containers Will Overwhelm Ports in 2023 Warns Sea-Intelligence – Maritime Executive

Public Comment Mixed on FHWA’s Electric Charging Infrastructure Proposal – Transport Topics

A natural ally for climate resilience, disaster mitigation – The Hill (Opinion)


Public transit across the U.S. is not nearly as crowded as it was before the pandemic – NPR’s All Things Considered

Where You Still Need to Wear a Mask in New York City – New York Times


NYSDOT Begins Roadway Flood Control Project – AASHTO Journal

States Play a Central Role in the EV Charger Buildout – Route Fifty

Universities’ research aims to make railroads climate resilientFreightWaves

A New Tech Tool to Help Communities Confront Climate Risks – Route Fifty

FAA’s Largest Solar Project to Power Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center – FAA (Media release)

Columbia River port managers, Army engineers agree to $2.1 million study – US Army Corps of Engineers (Media release)


Pittsburgh Regional Transit announces plan to transition to zero-emission bus fleet by 2045 – WPXI-TV

California Air Resources Board May Speed Fleet Electrification – Government Technology

United buys 200 electric air taxis from Embraer-backed Eve Air Mobility – Fox Business

Israel to Ban Boeing 747s, Other 4-Engine Planes Amid Environmental Concerns – U.S. News & World Report


Was the Climate Law a Win for Environmental Justice? It’s Complicated – Bloomberg

N.C. pushes for more EV charging stations in rural areas – Spectrum News 1

What are some unique transportation solutions in rural Indiana communities? – WFYI Radio

NACTO calls for US bicycle law reformation to decriminalize biking in cities – Cycling Weekly


Tennessee DOT Promoting Delta Region via New Partnership – AASHTO Journal


Super Bowl visitors will swamp Sky Harbor Airport. Here’s what it’s doing to get ready – Arizona Republic


Washington Legislature Makes a Quantum Leap on Complete State Highways – The Urbanist

New app aims to keep drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe on Cary roads – WRAL-TV

Residents push back on proposed Rockford, Illinois bike path expansion – Rockford Register Star

Free dinner? Free parking? Northern Virginia transportation leaders exploring creative options to incentivize commuter behavior InsideNoVa

New Haven gets rolling on pedestrian, cycling and transit infrastructure – Yale Daily News

Boston Mayor, City Transportation Department Announce Expansion of Bike Network and Safer Streets – City of Boston (Media release)

WSDOT unveils new-look Statewide Human Services Transportation Plan – Washington State DOT (Media release)


Advancing Low- and Zero-Emission Marine Vessel Technology Options Workshop – TRB (Link to workshop summary)

Microtransit – Innovation in Rural Mobility – TRB (Webinar)

Webinar: NCDOT Roadway Resiliency and Recovery – Roads & Bridges


National Priorities ListEPA (Final rule)

Noise Exposure Map Notice: San Diego County Regional Airport Authority for San Diego International Airport – FAA (Notice of acceptance of a noise exposure map and review of a noise
compatibility program)

Noise Compatibility Program for Laredo International Airport, Webb County, TexasFAA (Notice of acceptance of a noise exposure map)

Consolidated Port Approaches and International Entry and Departure Transit Areas Port Access Route Studies (PARS) Integral to Efficiency of Possible Atlantic Coast FairwaysCoast Guard (Notice of availability)

ETAP Podcast: Next Generation Highways

In this episode of the Environmental Technical Assistance Program or ETAP Podcast, Jessica Oh – strategic partnerships director in the sustainability and public health office within the Minnesota Department of Transportation – discusses the “next generation highway” her agency is studying.

[Above photo by Minnesota DOT]

The Ray and consulting firm NGI released the NextGen Highways Feasibility Study for the Minnesota DOT in April; a study that examined strategies for “co-locating” electric and communications infrastructure in highway right-of-ways or ROWs.

The study focused on the potential deployment of buried, high-voltage/direct current or HVDC transmission lines within Minnesota interstate and highway ROWs – an effort that offers broader implications for highway ROW strategies in other states.

In April 2021, the Federal Highway Administration released guidance clarifying the highway ROW “can be leveraged by state DOTs for pressing public needs relating to climate change, equitable communications access, and energy reliability.”

Projects listed include renewable energy generation, electrical transmission and distribution projects, broadband projects, vegetation management, inductive charging in travel lanes, and alternative fueling facilities, among others.

“At the heart of this study is the need to examine the energy transmission infrastructure we will need in order to electrify our transportation network; part of a broader effort to decarbonize the U.S. economy,” Oh explained during the podcast.

“The concept we’re evaluating looked specifically at burying [electric power] transmission lines in the highway ROW,” she noted. “Only three states allow for that now. Yet the use of existing distributed ROW could contain the visual impact of expanding our electric grid while lessening the need to acquire more land to support more transmission.”

Building transmission capacity in existing highway ROW could also reduce project-siting timelines by seven to 10 years, Oh added, while reducing the need to work with hundreds of landowners on a project down to dealing with a single state department of transportation.

“There is a great benefit for communities if they allow transmission capacity to be built in the highway ROW,” she emphasized.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

Oregon DOT Seeks Applications for Mobility Micro Grants

The Oregon Department of Transportation is seeking applications for its new Innovative Mobility Micro-Grants. The $5,000 grants are the first project to come forward from the $20 million Innovative Mobility Program, a new initiative created by the agency in March at the direction of the Oregon Transportation Commission.

[Above photo by the Oregon DOT]

The Oregon DOT said its Innovative Mobility Program aims to make it easier for state residents to walk, bike, share rides, and take transit. The program has a special focus on equity and helping historically excluded groups get to where they need to go more quickly, cheaply, and safely.

“There’s a major transportation evolution happening across the country, and we have a chance to make sure that communities of color and other marginalized individuals who have been excluded in the past have place, purpose, and priority in Oregon’s future transportation investments,” said Alando Simpson, vice chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission, in a statement.