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Communities of Practice

The Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO Communities of Practice (COPs) provide forums for invited professionals to discuss and exchange information, experiences, ideas, and best practices on a range of environmental topics related to the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of highway and transit systems. The goal of these Communities of Practice is to promote environmental stewardship and to encourage innovative ways to streamline the transportation delivery process.

Communities of Practice currently exist for the following four topic areas:

Individual Community of Practice discussions are facilitated and moderated by Center technical experts. Typically, the communities participate in regular conference calls, exchange emails, share experiences, and provide input to and review of state-of-the practice reports, which are prepared periodically by the CoP facilitator in cooperation with CoP participants.

In addition to conference calls and emails, the Historic Bridges CoP has been beta testing an online forum since April 2009. The online forum includes discussion threads, a resource library, a list of participants, a glossary, web links and a virtual suggestion box.

Community of Practice members participate as individual members of the community and do not necessarily represent their agency's views or positions. In addition, the discussions of the CoP and the contents of the materials it generates do not necessarily represent the views or positions of AASHTO or the Center for Environmental Excellence.

If you have questions or comments regarding the Community of Practice forum, please contact the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO through the Contact Us link.

Air Quality Community of Practice

The purpose of the Air Quality COP is to assemble a group of State Department of Transportation (DOT) air quality practitioners to have a focused discussion on the state of the practice, emerging issues, and research data needs on particular air quality issues. Practitioners share experiences and learn from each other, helping to further the state of the knowledge of the community. In addition, the effort helps to extend the COP members' networks and professional contacts. The Air Quality COP consists of representatives from ten State DOTs, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) and AASHTO. COP reports may be accessed below:

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Environmental Justice Community of Practice

The Environmental Justice (EJ) Community of Practice (CoP) is a forum for DOT and metropolitan planning organization (MPO) practitioners to hold regular discussions regarding EJ emerging issues, and analyze the state of the practice and its implementation. Building upon previous Center work on EJ issues, the EJ CoP will identify themes on which to focus and hold discussions. Participants are encouraged to engage in other EJ opportunities and share lessons learned with the larger group. AASHTO staff and other partner organizations will work to facilitate the increase of technical assistance offerings and coordination between state DOTs and MPOs.

Environmental Justice Community of Practice Webinars and Events
Center-hosted webinars and events in which EJ practitioners discuss emerging issues and analyze the state of the practice and its implementation. See below for participant registration links, and webinar recordings, and presentations.

July 2020: Environmental Justice Peer Exchange - In partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), the Center for Environmental Excellence at AASHTO held an Environmental Justice Virtual Peer Exchange. The two hour Virtual Peer Exchange was broken up into two panel discussions, one focused on the connection between health and transportation and the other on Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL). The topics for the event were selected based on a recent survey of the AASHTO Environmental Justice (EJ) Community of Practice. Webinar and Peer Exchange Materials

January 2020: Environmental Justice Data Analysis- AASHTO’s Center for Environmental Excellence, in collaboration with FHWA, held a webinar on Environmental Justice Data and Environmental Justice Analysis. This webinar featured presentations from a Metropolitan Transportation Commission and a state DOT, and a case study from a Regional Planning Commission. Webinar and Presentation materials.

December 2019: Environmental Justice Analysis Strategies at the 2019 AMPO Annual Conference - 
AASHTO’s Center for Environmental Excellence, in collaboration with FHWA and AMPO, held a peer exchange on Environmental Justice Analysis Strategies at the 2019 AMPO Annual Conference. This webinar featured highlights and updates from the session from FHWA, AMPO, and AASHTO, as well as presentations from a state DOT and MPO on their peer exchange takeaways and EJ efforts. Link to the Infographic, and  Webinar Presentation materials

July 2019: EJ Training Needs Assessment Survey Webinar - The Center for Environmental Excellence held a webinar about the survey of the Environmental Justice Community of Practice regarding training needs. The survey questions focused on the frequency of trainings, information, resource gaps, emerging and innovative issues, and members' familiarity with existing resources. During this webinar, the Center shared the results of the survey and engaged with participants to develop a path forward to address these needs.  Webinar and Presentation materials.

2017-2018 Series

Webinar No. 4 - Disproportionate Impact from Planning and/or Project Delivery: March 15, 2018. This webinar includes presentations from Wisconsin DOT on how their EJ process handled the US151/Verona Road project, and Ohio DOT on best-practices at Beavercreek Bus Battle. Webinar and Presentation materials.

Webinar No. 3 - Guidance and Consistency of Analysis: January 30, 2018. This webinar includes an FHWA EJ update; a presentation on Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's work on creating a curated data set that aims to analyze EJ and equity issues; and, a case study on Kentucky's EJ work on Newton Pike. Webinar and Presentation materials.

Webinar  No. 2 - Meaningful Community Engagement: November 17, 2017. This webinar discusses what "meaningful community engagement" means, with examples of resources, case studies, and successful processes used to increase the quantity and quality of community engagement from DOTs, MPOs, and FHWA. Webinar and Presentation materials.

Webinar No. 1 - Environmental Justice Oversight: September 14, 2017. This webinar includes a federal oversight summary, a review of the Center’s past EJ work, and a discussion on EJ analysis focused on the planning phase. DOTs and MPOs share their views of what constitutes good EJ analysis, and lessons learned and best practices. The webinar is for geared toward practitioners working in planning, public involvement, and Title VI. Webinar and Presentation materials.

Environmental Justice Project Level Challenges - Recap and Discussion October 31, 2017. The conference call recapped the Environmental Justice sessions at AMPO’s Annual Meeting. Speakers from the session provided an overview of their presentations, summarized the tabletop discussions with MPOs, and discussed key takeaways for the Community of Practice. Summary

2016 Environmental Justice Peer Exchange 

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Historic Bridges Community of Practice

The Historic Bridges Community of Practice helps identify emerging issues, trends, procedures, research, and data needs associated with the identification, evaluation, and management of our nation's historic bridges. This Community of Practice also contributes to current discussions on how to effectively preserve and manage the nation's highway bridge assets, since historic bridges are a critical component of our country's transportation infrastructure. Individuals invited to participate in this Community of Practice include bridge engineers and historic preservation professionals from public and private sectors and academia.

The Historic Bridge COP has been beta testing an online forum since April 2009. The online forum includes discussion threads, a resource library, a list of participants, a glossary, web links and a virtual suggestion box.

Visit the Historic Bridge COP online forum

The following State-of-the-Practice Reports have been prepared by the COP facilitator in cooperation with COP participants:

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Stormwater Management Community of Practice

The Stormwater Management CoP is a forum where State Department of Transportation (DOT) practitioners can engage in facilitated discussions on emerging issues, research data needs, and innovative stormwater quality compliance solutions. Practitioners share experiences and learn from each other, helping to further the state of the knowledge of the community. In addition, the effort helps to extend the COP members' networks and professional contacts. The work of the COP is a continuation of efforts that were initiated in June, 2008 at the first AASHTO National Stormwater Conference in San Diego, California.

The Stormwater Management CoP consists of representatives from sixteen state DOTs, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) and AASHTO.

In June 2009, a state-of-the practice report was prepared by the COP facilitator in cooperation with COP participants. Additional state-of-the-practice reports were prepared in March 2010 on total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and on EPA's effluent limitation guidelines for construction and development projects. The January 2011 COP report focuses on EPA's post-construction stormwater control rulemaking.

Reports/Plans

Practitioner Field Guides & Handbooks

State of the Practice Reports

Webinars & Presentations

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