Increased Use of Environmentally Preferable, Green Seal, and other Non-Toxic Products to Reduce Costs, Liabilities, and Pollution at DOT Offices, Maintenance Facilities and Rest Stops

Focus Area

Waste Management/Recycling/Brownfields


Environmental Process, Natural Resources




Under $99k


Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

TERI Administrator Note (May 2013): Completed Sept 2010 as NCHRP 25-25/Task 60
Increased Use of Environmentally Preferable, Non-Toxic Products to Reduce Costs, Liabilities, and Pollution at DOT Offices, Maintenance Facilities and Rest Stops

Research would focus on replacing toxic materials with more benign products:

1.      Investigate and compile an inventory of existing toxic/hazardous chemical products purchased, stored, and used at highway maintenance facilities, operations facilities, and highway rest areas. Collect MSDS sheets, and interview DOT staff on how products are used.
2.      Estimate chemical product quantities used and purchased at these
facilities through records reviews and interviews.
3.      Conduct a chemical product assessment to estimate chemical product quantities purchased and used at DOT maintenance, operations facilities, and highway rest areas.
4.      Identify alternative and equally effective non-toxic, low toxicity, Green
Seal, Environmentally Preferable, and otherwise “green” products to
substitute for toxic/hazardous products being used.
5.      Quantify the potential benefits of reduced toxic/hazardous chemical usage through the increased use of lower toxicity products.
6.      Research products that have the lowest total life-cycle cost, including all transportation supply chain costs.
7.      Review the Approved Products List and, if necessary, recommend revisions needed to allow and promote “green” products.
8.      Develop a web-based decision-making tool using a life-cycle cost model that can be used by procurement divisions of transportation sector companies.
9.      Produce a final report that documents the benefits of greater “green”
product usage, to raise overall staff awareness of “green” product
substitution, and to encourage and promote purchasing and use of these
substitute products.

Urgency and Payoff

DOTs could reduce their toxic waste costs and liabilities in areas of worker health and safety requirements, compliance permitting and reporting, hazardous waste disposal and recycling costs, and necessary environmental protection controls by using less toxic Green Seal and other Environmentally Preferable products. This switch can help reduce:

1)  Compliance permitting, reporting and inventory requirements.
2)  Worker health and safety requirements, liabilities, monitoring, and
3)  Environmental impacts and protection requirements to carefully
contain, manage, and properly dispose of hazardous materials.
4)  Costs for regulatory fees and requirements, disposal and recycling
fees, environmental protection measures, and worker protection.

Suggested By

Patricia Martinek; Colorado Department of Transportation

[email protected]