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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Air Quality and Sustainability Highlights

April 2010

Prepared by the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty

Federal Highway Administration

Recent Events

DOT Releases Report to Congress. On April 22, USDOT Released Transportation's Role in Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions which analyzes a full range of strategies available to reduce transportation's greenhouse gas emissions. Among specific findings:

The report also discusses policy options for implementing these strategies, such as efficiency standards, transportation planning and investment, market-based incentives, research and development, and sending price signals throughout the economy by increasing the cost of carbon. The report was mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

EPA Publishes Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory. On April 15, EPA released their annual report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2008. The report indicates that CO2 emissions from transportation source fuel combustion decreased 5.9 percent from 2007 to 2008, to below year 2000 levels. EPA attributes the decrease to the high price of gasoline combined with the downturn in the economy.

Transportation Groups Urge Senate Climate Bill Sponsors to Direct Transportation Revenue to Transportation Projects. AASHTO, AMPO, and 25 other transportation organizations wrote a letter to Sens. John Kerry, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman urging them to continue the tradition of directing user fees from transportation fuels to transportation projects. The groups argue that with road and transit system needs far exceeding current investment levels, passage of multi-year surface transportation authorization will be almost impossible without the inclusion of the carbon-based fees.

TRB Publishes Primer on GHG and Energy Use in Transportation Sector. This Modal Primer on Greenhouse Gas and Energy Use in the Transportation Sector is a collection of white papers on greenhouse gas and energy issues by transportation mode, coordinated by the TRB Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy.


FHWA Sustainable Transport and Climate Change Team Seeks New Team Leader. As of May 9, Rob Ritter will move to a new team leader position in FHWA's Office of Safety. The announcement is posted on the DOT Job Search Website. Applications are due May 26.

FHWA Livability Webinar May 26. The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP) will sponsor a webinar on May 26, 2010 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss research initiatives that are planned or underway in FHWA to support livable communities. The webinar will also highlight the current practices in the field and educate participants on what FHWA and others are doing to enhance the environmental sensitivity of our nation's transportation system. Topics include the status of FHWA's Livability Initiative, the soon to be released STEP funded Livability in Transportation Guidebook: Planning Approaches that Promote Livability as well as state and local projects underway that support livable communities. Registration is open to all interested participants.


CEQ Draft NEPA Guidance on Considerations of Effects of Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Comments due May 24. The guidance covers when and how Federal agencies should analyze the environmental impacts of GHG emissions and climate change when they describe the environmental impacts of a proposed action under NEPA. Text of the draft guidance and a comment submittal form are available on the CEQ website.

2010 TRB Energy and Environment Conference, June 6-9 in Raleigh. This conference serves as a platform to develop better transportation solutions through the integration of diverse environmental and transportation perspectives. Registration, an agenda, and additional conference information are available on the conference website. Many conference sessions relating to climate change are planned.

If you have any suggestions for inclusion in future issues of Transportation and Climate Change News, or if someone forwarded this newsletter to you and you'd like to receive it directly in the future, please send your suggestions or request to Becky Lupes at

FHWA HQ Contacts in the Office of Planning, Environment & Realty:

Office of Natural and Human Environment, Sustainable Transport & Climate Change Team
Dave Carlson, Acting Team Leader
John Davies,
Connie Hill Galloway,
Robert Kafalenos,
Becky Lupes,
Diane Turchetta,

Office of Planning
Robin Smith,

Office of Project Development & Environmental Review
Shari Schaftlein,

Updated: 12/23/2016
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