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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Contact: Bill Outlaw
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 11-03

Federal Highway Administration Announces 12 Awards for Environmental Excellence

Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters today announced 12 winners of Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) 2003 Environmental Excellence Awards. The recipients, from California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, were selected from among 134 nominations received from 38 states.

"These models of excellence inspire commitment to environmental stewardship," U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said. "Each defined in new way how we in transportation are architects of the future - visionaries for what can be achieved by working together to promote methods, processes and projects that protect and enhance the environment."

Judges selected winners for 11 categories: Environmental Streamlining; Cultural and Historical Resources; Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife; Scenic Byways; Wetlands and Water Quality; Roadside Resource Management and Maintenance; Non-motorized Transportation; Livable Communities; Recycling; and Environmental Research. They named a group and an individual winner in Environmental Leadership.

Since the program started in 1995, these biennial awards have recognized partners, projects and processes that use FHWA funding sources to go beyond environmental compliance and achieve environmental excellence.

"These award winners exemplify what it means to be good environmental stewards," Peters said. "They demonstrate how we can make needed transportation improvements while protecting and enhancing the environment."

Peters will present the awards today, Earth Day, during a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC.

The award recipients are:

  • Vermont's Programmatic Agreement and Manual on Section 106, "Review of Historic and Archaeological Resources in Federal-aid Highway Projects" (Environmental Streamlining) - State and federal officials in Vermont developed a model agreement that dramatically streamlines the review of impacts of transportation projects on historic and archaeological resources and better protects those resources. Contact: Scott Newman, telephone 802-828-3964 or email Scott.newman@.state.vt.us

  • Paris Pike (US 27/68 Paris Lexington Road) (Cultural and Historical Resources), Kentucky - An innovative redesign of a 12-mile stretch of highway between the City of Lexington and the rural community of Paris, Kentucky required fitting the road to the land and dodging sensitive areas and resources. Through context-sensitive highway design practices, a road was produced that is attractive, visually interesting, and safe to drive. Contact: Mark Pfeiffer, telephone 502-564-4550 or email Mark.Pfeiffer@mail.state.ky.us

  • Shortgrass Prairie System (Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife), Colorado - This initiative emerged from a need to mitigate the impact of proposed transportation projects. It contributed to a multi-species recovery effort and promoted the recovery of listed species, used public funds more efficiently, and improved the project development process. It offset permanent habitat loss through large scale habitat protection. Contact: Stacey Stegman, telephone 303-757-9362 or email Stacey.Stegman@dot.state.co.us

  • Oregon Forest Highway Enhancement Program (Scenic Byways), Oregon - Federal, state and county partners voluntarily established the Oregon Forest Highway Enhancement Program by setting aside up to 10 percent of the authorized Oregon Forest Highway Funds to plan, develop, design, and implement Forest Highway enhancement projects. These included improved signing, interpretive sites, trailheads, and roadside facilities to accommodate the increasing volume of recreational highway users. Contact: David Thompson, telephone 503-731-8263 or email david.h.Thompson@odot.state.or.us

  • Stormwater Management Facilities and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program (Wetlands and Water Quality), Maryland - The Maryland State Highway Administration became one of the first state transportation agencies to be regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). In order to successfully comply with the permit requirements in an environmentally responsible and cost efficient manner, Maryland placed all activities related to stormwater management within a single coordinated process and provided a structured template to systematically address stormwater pollution prevention. Contact: David Buck, telephone 410-545-0309 or email Dbuck1@sha.state.md.us

  • Roadside Classification Plan and Roadside Manual (Roadside Resource Management and Maintenance), Washington - Washington's roadside classification plan provides a framework for providing consistent, cost-effective, proactive roadside management statewide. The roadside manual provides methods for implementing these practices on the ground to support high quality roadside environments. Contact: Diana Olegre, telephone 360-705-7080 or email olegred@wsdot.wa.gov

  • Broward County Long-Range Transportation Plan (Nonmotorized Transportation), Florida - This long-range plan ensures that the needs of county residents are identified and addressed through inter-agency coordination, public participation and consensus-building within the community. A multi-modal set of improvement projects was identified to provide county residents, businesses, and visitors with several travel choice options. Contact: Lahoma Scarlette, telephone (954) 357-7810 or email Lscarlette@broward.org

  • Iowa's Living Roadways Community Visioning Program and Iowa's Living Roadways Project (Livable Communities), Iowa - Through a private-public partnership, Iowa's Living Roadways programs assist volunteer committees in Iowa's smaller communities to think creatively and strategically about roadside landscape improvements. Distributed throughout the state, these small town enhancement projects now number in the hundreds and have had a significant cumulative impact in maintaining Iowa's scenic rural character and emphasizing its friendly, inviting communities. Contact: Dean Gray-Fisher, telephone 515-239-1922 or email Dean.Gray-Fisher@dot.state.ia.us

  • Pre-Mixed, Rubberized Slurry Seal and Recycled Tires (Recycling), California - The city of Los Angeles created a public/private partnership that improves street preservation through the use of premixed, rubberized slurry seal from recycled tires. Slurry seal projects that would take weeks to complete under the conventional method are now completed within eight hours. Contact: Marshal Lowe, telephone 213-978-0330 or email Mlowe@bpw.lacity.org

  • Aesthetic Initiative Measurement System (AIMS) (Environmental Research), Minnesota - This project was conducted to develop and test instruments and protocols that the Minnesota Department of Transportation can use to understand and document how travelers and neighbors perceive the visual quality of Minnesota's highway corridor treatments and landscapes. This system will help MnDOT fulfill its commitment to implement context-sensitive design practices. Contact: Sue Stein, telephone 651-284-4028 or email Sue.Stein@dot.state.mn.us

  • Partnership for Improving North Carolina's Environment (Environmental Leadership), North Carolina - Senior leadership at the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the North Carolina Department of Transportation formalized a partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The document outlined goals that support environmental stewardship and responsible and timely transportation decision-making. Contact: Cherie Gibson, telephone 919-715-2397 or email Cgibson@dot.state.nc.us

  • Wes Goff (Environmental Leadership), Colorado - For 38 years, Wes Goff has worked for the Colorado Department of Transportation and the environment. Goff worked to minimize negative environmental impacts and to restore and protect sensitive habitat while he helped build Colorado's transportation system. Currently a Program Engineer for CDOT, Wes Goff continues to be a leader in building partnerships for environmental protection and transportation projects. Contact: Stacey Stegman, telephone 303-757-9362 or email Stacey.Stegman@dot.state.co.us

The judges in the 2003 awards competition also gave honorable mention for environmental excellence to the Indian Creek Stormwater Treatment Facility in Washington. This project was a result of collaboration between the Squaxin Island Tribe, the Nisqually Tribe, the city of Olympia, the Olympia Arts Commission and the Washington State Department of Transportation. Their goal was to clean stormwater runoff from Interstate 5, but their project also integrated public art, native plant-centered landscaped areas and slope stabilization into stormwater treatment - all in an urban environment. Contact: Diana Olegre, telephone 360-705-7080 or email olegred@wsdot.wa.gov

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See the 2003 Environmental Excellence Awards online.

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