FHWA Publications & Tools
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- Infrastructure Carbon Estimator - This spreadsheet tool estimates the lifecycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions from the construction and maintenance of transportation facilities. The Estimator requires limited data inputs and is designed to inform planning and pre-engineering analysis.
- Energy and Emissions Reduction Policy Analysis Tool (2012) assists state transportation agencies with analyzing greenhouse gas strategies for use in the transportation planning process, the development of state climate action plans, and scenario planning exercises.
- Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Action Tool and Workshop Materials (2012) are a resource for learning about PEVs and best practices from state agencies. The Action Tool helps state DOTs determine their goals for PEV deployment and chart out a path for reaching those goals. The project was a partnership between US DOT and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
- Feasibility and Implications of Electric Vehicle (EV) Deployment and Infrastructure Development - (January 2015) - This project evaluated the prospects and expectations for short and long-term deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) and analyzed the potential impact of this deployment on the mission of the FHWA. The FHWA undertook the study for the following reasons: (1) to provide information on the expected market penetration and viability of EVs in both the short and long-term; (2) analyze the implications for FHWA's mission; (3) analyze the potential financial implications for available highway revenues; and (4) to assist State and local transportation agencies in understanding if, and how, transportation infrastructure may have to change to facilitate, support, and/or provide emergency response to EVs. New: 6/26/2015
- Highway Operations and Maintenance Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions - (Spring 2015) This study further investigates the GHG reduction potential of highway operation and management strategies, building on earlier studies. In particular, the study addresses the relationship between traffic improvements and traveler behavior, travel demand and emissions.
- Integrating Climate Change in Transportation and Land Use Scenario Planning - An Example from Central New Mexico - (April 2015) This project used scenario planning to analyze strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts, alongside other community goals, in the greater Albuquerque area of central New Mexico. The project demonstrated how climate change considerations can be incorporated into transportation and land use scenario planning and provided analysis that was incorporated into the region's long range transportation plan. (PDF 4 MB) Additional Project Information New: 5/6/2015
- A Performance-Based Approach to Addressing Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Transportation Planning (December 2013) - This practitioner handbook is intended to serve as a resource for State DOTs and MPOs interested in addressing GHG emissions through performance-based planning and programming (PBPP). It describes the use of GHG performance measures and other performance management techniques to support investment choices and enhance decision-making. The handbook builds on related resources addressing PBPP and mobile source emissions analysis.(PDF 3.2 MB)
- An Action Plan to Integrate Plug-in Electric Vehicles with the U.S. Electrical Grid (2012) proposes a set of recommendations for integrating plug-in electric vehicles with the U.S. electrical grid nationwide. The plan addresses the respective roles of the various government and private sector players, lays out a timeline for critical steps, and describes an adaptive strategy that takes into account lessons learned. (Completed) (PDF 1.8 MB)
- Handbook for Estimating Transportation Greenhouse Gases for Integration into the Planning Process (March 2013) - The Handbook is designed for State Departments of Transportation and metropolitan planning organizations of all sizes and capabilities to understand possible approaches for analyzing greenhouse gas emissions in the planning process. It helps users understand: factors to consider in selecting an appropriate method; strengths and limitations of different approaches; step-by-step procedures; and, common data sources. (PDF 4 MB)
- Reference Sourcebook for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation Sources. (January 2012) This document describes various transportation-related greenhouse gas mitigation strategies, estimates the potential range of GHG reductions, estimates costs, identifies barriers to implementation, identifies example projects, and describes any associated co-benefits or disadvantages. The report was developed for FHWA by the Rand Corporation, and it is meant to complement FHWA's Energy and Emissions Reduction Policy Analysis Tool. (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Plug-in Electric Vehicles Market: State of Play (2011) identifies and explains (1) challenges for the nationwide development of the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market, (2) public policies in place to support PEV deployment, (3) PEV market forecasts, and (4) current PEV deployment (Completed) (PDF 580 KB)
- Plug-in Electric Vehicles: Literature Review (2011) summarizes (1) key externalities that PEVs might address; (2) issues related to PEVs, the electric power system, and the vehicle market; and (3) public policy options. (Completed) (PDF 968 KB)
- A Framework for Considering Climate Change in Transportation and Land Use Scenario Planning: Lessons Learned from an Interagency Pilot Project on Cape Cod (July 2011) - FHWA and the Volpe Center have developed a guidebook that discusses the steps taken during the pilot project and presents lessons learned and recommendations that will guide other areas in pursuing a similar multi-agency approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and plan for climate change impacts through integrated transportation and land use scenario planning. (PDF 2.2 MB)
- Carbon Sequestration Pilot Program Results (HTML) or (PDF - 424Kb) (May 2010).FHWA established the Carbon Sequestration Pilot Program (CSPP) in 2008 to assess whether a roadside carbon sequestration effort through modified maintenance and management practices is appropriate and feasible for state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) when balanced against ecological and economic uncertainties. In addition to this report, FHWA has developed a Highway Carbon Sequestration Estimator to help DOTs assess the return on investment for various carbon sequestration scenarios. The decision-support tool allows transportation officials to make estimates based on state-specific considerations. The Estimator tool may be acquired by contacting Carson.Poe@dot.gov
- Transportation's Role in Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions (April 2010) was mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The report analyzes a full range of strategies available to reduce transportation's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Educating the Public on Climate Change Issues: DOT and MPO Best Practices or PDF - 129Kb. (June 15, 2010) This document summarizes outreach activities and public education initiatives used around the country by State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to educate the public on transportation-related climate change issues.
- Climate Change - Model Language in Transportation Plans. (May 2010) This document provides excerpts from various MPOs and DOT's transportation plans that illustrate how climate change considerations have been integrated into the documents. Agencies that are looking for ideas about how to incorporate climate change into their transportation plans could find the model language very useful. (PDF 89 KB)
- Review and Assessment of State Climate Action Plans. (November 2009) This project reviewed and analyzed climate action plans in all 50 states. The information gather is provided in a separate Excel workbook available in HTML and MS Excel.
- Carbon Dioxide, Climate Change, and the Boston Region MPO: A Discussion Paper (May 2008). This paper identifies the current and potential climate change-related impacts to the Boston, MA region, details current actions undertaken by the Boston Region MPO to address climate change issues, and discusses possible future actions for the Boston Region MPO to reduce GHG emissions
- Integrating Climate Change into the Transportation Planning Process (July 2008). This study reports on opportunities for States and MPOs to incorporate climate change considerations into long-range transportation planning (LRTP) processes, including adaptation and mitigation practices. The study also describes examples of current state and MPO practices that link climate change and the LRTP process.
- Guidance: Planning Program Funds to Support Integration of Transportation, Land Use, and Climate Change (November 2008). Current FHWA/FTA planning requirements (23 U.S.C. 134 and 135, 49 U.S.C. 5303 and 5304) call for MPOs and State DOTs to consider land use and economic development impacts in their transportation planning processes. The FHWA/FTA issued guidance to clarify the eligibility and criteria for use of FHWA/FTA metropolitan and statewide planning program funds to support Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and State Planning and Research (SPR) work activities addressing the integration of transportation, land use, and climate change.
- Assessing the Effects of Freight Movement on Air Quality at the National and Regional Level (April 2005). This report evaluates the impacts of freight transportation on national and regional air quality and discusses technological and operational strategies that can mitigate freight emissions. The report concludes with recommendations for further research to explore linkages between freight transportation and air quality.
- Assessing State Long Range Transportation Planning Initiatives in the Northeast for Climate and Energy Benefits (December 2005) This study identifies state LRTP practices for climate protection and energy efficiency outcomes.
- Greenhouse Gas Control Strategies: A Review of "Before-and After" Studies (November 1999). This paper summarizes the results of a literature search on U.S. efforts to reduce GHG emissions from on-highway vehicles and public transit modes.
- Assessment of GHG Models for the Surface Transportation Sector (November 1999). This paper is a survey of several models used in the U.S. to estimate the impact of GHG control strategies in the surface transport sector.
- AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence Primer on Transportation and Climate Change (April 2008) The primer provides some scientific background on climate change, introduces climate change policy issues, and discusses areas of further research. It details some GHG emission trends that relate to the road transportation sector and discusses technological transportation improvements that could help reduce GHG emissions.
- The National Research Council has released a new booklet and video designed to help the public gain a better understanding of what is known about climate change. The new resources are based on a number of independent reports from the National Research Council that represent the consensus of experts who have reviewed hundreds of studies describing many years of accumulating evidence.
The 36 page booklet, entitled Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Choices answers commonly asked questions about the science of climate change in three parts. The booklet lays out the evidence of climate change being observed around the world, summarizes projections of future climate changes and impacts expected in this century and beyond, and examines how science can help inform choices about managing and reducing the risks posed by climate change. (July 2012)
The video, Climate Change: Lines of Evidence, follows Part 1 of the booklet. It explains the lines of evidence that have built the current scientific consensus about climate change and its causes.
- The SHRP 2 Capacity program has develop a report and a Practitioner’s Guide (C09) on how to incorporate greenhouse gas emissions into the collaborative decision making framework
- TRB Electronic Circular E-C164: Climate Change and Transportation: Summary of Key Information highlights the key findings of a variety of studies on the subject of climate change and its ramifications for the transportation sector conducted by the National Research Council, the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering; TRB; and other organizations. (July 2012)