FHWA Environmental Programs Support State and Local Smart Growth Policies
- Focuses on the connection between transportation and air quality.
- For example, when the projects funded in 2000 are complete, they will reduce VOC and CO emissions by 266 and 393 tons/day, respectively.
- Allows metropolitan areas in nonattainment or maintenance status to find creative ways to simultaneously meet air quality and mobility goals, thus improving a community’s livability and quality of life.
- Most CMAQ funds to date have been used for new and enhanced transit services and to improve traffic flow in heavily developed, congested areas.
Over $29 billion has been spent on 28,000 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement projects since 1992.
Cleaner Vehicles and Fuels will result in continued vehicle emission reductions despite increases in travel.
- Bicycle and pedestrian travel work best in areas of dense land use and in areas of mixed land use. Such trips are ecologically sound and offer health benefits to the user.
- Federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs is broadly eligible from all major funding programs.
Funding for bicycle/pedestrian projects has increased from $17 million in 1991 to over $790 million in 2011. Source: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/funding/bipedfund.cfm. The amount exceded $1 billion in 2009 and 2010 with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Environmental stewardship ensures that growth is mindful of the environment.
- Redevelopment and infill allows the use of existing infrastructure and services, minimizing the cost of new investment.
- Federal assistance can be used to foster the redevelopment of brownfields.
- FHWA encourages State and local transportation agencies to address community brownfields redevelopment during transportation planning and project development.
- Partnerships between Federal, State and local interests can leverage additional funding resources for brownfields redevelopment.
- An ecosystem approach can mitigate project impacts with flexible, regional approaches, rather than site-specific mitigation plans that are often more costly and less environmentally valuable.
Since 1996, transportation projects have provided a net gain of over 20,000 acres of wetlands on a program-wide basis.
- FHWA encourages the use of funding flexibility for mitigation and restoration projects.
- FHWA programs provide funds for wetland and natural habitat mitigation, including work to restore and enhance these habitats and contribute to area-wide resource planning efforts.
- Address transportation system impacts on stormwater management and water quality.
- On a watershed scale, the impact of impervious surfaces may be lessened through coordinated and managed use of a variety of mitigation methods, generally known as Best Management Practices.
- These include practices that reduce stormwater runoff through infiltration, and practices, such as retention, that maintain pre-developed flow releases for an area.
Communities and the environment are being protected and enhanced by FHWA programs.