Climate Change Friendly Strategies Undertaken by State DOTs
Air Quality, Environmental Process
Under 1 year
Research Idea Scope
Background: State DOTs are implementing actions and programs that were developed to provide mobility, cost savings or other benefits. By their nature, many of the actions and programs have greenhouse gas reduction potentials of which the States may not be fully aware. Similarly, some actions or programs could undergo modest modifications to provide greenhouse gas emission reductions. A partial list of programs include: mass transit; greenhouse gas emissions and energy reporting; traffic signals upgrades and actualization; freight management; managed lanes; smart growth/land use; idle reduction; commuter choice; air quality education; alternative fuels. Maintenance and construction processes should be considered as well. For example, California recently changed its cement specification for construction projects, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions. Research Objective: Climate change concerns, and related greenhouse gas emissions, pose substantial challenges to State DOTs. The goal of this effort is to be able to demonstrate to the public, interest groups, and Congress the beneficial actions State DOTs are taking, and can take, to help meet greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and, therefore, the State DOTs must be equal partners in climate change discussions. This research will be conducted in two phases. Using the list above as a starting point, Phase I will identify strategies that States are implementing, or could implement with minor changes in procedure or process, that reduce greenhouse gasses, but that the State may not be aware of its greenhouse gas reduction benefits. Phase II will be to develop and broadcast a webcast of the findings from Phase I. Phase I– The research will consist of: polling State DOTs to see which may have procedures or practices that have potential to reduce greenhouse gasses; select a number of States for more detailed surveys (the selection of States might be based on interest level of a State in this issue, urban versus rural, geographic distribution, etc.); provide a first order estimate of ongoing greenhouse gas emission reductions or potential emission reductions if such actions were taken by all State DOTs; and develop a final report documenting the findings. Phase II– Based on the findings of Phase II, the consultant will develop and broadcast a webcast of the findings of Phase I. The webcast should be designed to provide the broadest applicability to State DOTs and appropriate for all levels of management within a State DOT.
John Zamurs, SCOE Air Quality, Climate Change and Energy Subcommittee