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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Air Quality and Sustainability Highlights

Summer/Fall 2012

Prepared by the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty
Federal Highway Administration

Recent Events and Reports

FHWA Clarifies Eligibility of Climate Change Adaptation Activities. In a memo dated September 24, the FHWA Associate Administrators for Infrastructure; Planning, Environment and Realty; and Federal Lands Highway clarified that Federal-aid and Federal Lands highway funding may be used for climate change adaptation work. The memo notes that creating a more resilient transportation system is a priority for FHWA and provides some examples of eligible uses of Federal-aid and Federal Lands highway funds to consider the potential impacts of climate change and extreme weather events and apply adaptation strategies.

FHWA Issues GHG Reduction Reference Sourcebook. The Reference Sourcebook for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation Sources 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 complements FHWA's Energy and Emissions Reduction Policy Analysis Tool.

Climate Change Mitigation Peer Exchange Summary Report Available. FHWA has released a summary report of a series of climate change mitigation peer exchanges held between June 2011 and April 2012. The peer exchanges provided an opportunity for metropolitan planning organizations and State departments of transportation to discuss greenhouse gas analysis, incorporating greenhouse gas analysis in the planning process, and their climate change mitigation activities. The summary report, The Role of State Departments of Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations in Climate Change Mitigation, provides an overview of the key themes, lessons learned, examples of innovative practices, and resources from the agencies who participated in the exchanges.

FHWA Memo Discusses Climate Information. The Use of Climate Information in Vulnerability Assessments describes several sources of precipitation and temperature information, and provides some recommendations on how this information can be used by transportation planners as they consider their climate-related risks. The memorandum also includes an Appendix which outlines some of the methods employed by FHWA pilot projects to estimate the impacts of sea-level rise.

FHWA Welcomes Tina Hodges! Tina Hodges has joined FHWA as the newest member of the Sustainable Transport and Climate Change Team. Tina was already well-respected in the Department for her excellent climate change work at FTA. We are very excited that Tina has decided to continue her efforts with FHWA and the STACC team. Tina will be dividing her time between adaptation and sustainability work.

TR News Publishes Issue on Climate Change. The July/August 2012 issue of TR News Magazine features climate change, highlighting activities around the country related to climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas mitigation. Access to TR News is free for FHWA and state DOT employees and other TRB sponsors.

NHTSA and EPA Establish Fuel Efficiency and GHG Standards for Model Years 2017 and Beyond. On August 28, NHTSA and EPA issued a issued a joint final rule for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for model year 2017-2025 light-duty vehicles, with an ultimate fuel economy standard of 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by model year 2025. For more information on fuel economy standards, see NHTSA's fuel economy webpage.

State and Local News

Hawaii Enacts Bill Creating Statewide Adaptation Policy. SB2745, signed by Gov. Abercrombie July 9th, adds climate change adaptation priority guidelines to the state planning act, with the goal of encouraging collaboration among federal, state, local, and business entities and community partners to plan for and minimize the impacts of climate change. The Bill was informed in part by information presented at the Transportation Vulnerability Due to Climate Change workshop organized by the Oahu MPO as part of their FHWA sponsored vulnerability assessment pilot project.

Report Details Vermont Regional Planning Agencies' Involvement in Irene Recovery. Lessons Learned from Irene: Vermont RPCs Address Transportation System Recovery details the expanded role Regional Planning Commissions took on in the aftermath of tropical storm Irene to assist the Vermont Agency of Transportation. The report was written by the NADO Research Foundation, Center for Transportation Advancement and Regional Development, with support from FHWA.


FHWA to Launch INVEST Version 1.0 on October 10, 2012 from 2 PM - 3 PM EST via webcast. INVEST Version 1.0 is a voluntary, internet-based tool enabling State, regional, and local transportation agencies to evaluate the sustainability, including energy efficiency and resiliency, of their transportation plans, projects and programs. After extensive input from industry stakeholders and pilot testing with public agencies across the nation, INVEST 1.0 is ready to provide users with the information necessary to balance the economic, environmental, and social impacts of highways. FHWA hopes that INVEST 1.0 will become a valuable tool for transportation agencies and others looking to learn more about sustainability while integrating sustainable best practices into their projects and programs.

Register here to join the webcast.

If you have any questions on INVEST or the webinar, please contact Mike Culp (, Heather Holsinger (, or Connie Hill (

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 or Heather Holsinger at

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

Office of Natural Environment, Sustainable Transport & Climate Change Team

Mike Culp, Team Leader,
John Davies,, GHG emissions analysis, modeling, performance measures
Connie Hill Galloway,, sustainability, brownfields and hazardous waste sites
Tina Hodges,, adaptation, sustainability
Heather Holsinger,, sustainability, adaptation, GHG emissions analysis, energy
Rob Hyman,, adaptation, sustainability, GHG emissions analysis
Rob Kafalenos,, adaptation, energy
Becky Lupes,, adaptation, GHG emissions analysis, NEPA
Diane Turchetta,, GHG emissions analysis, energy

Office of Planning

Robin Smith,

Office of Project Development & Environmental Review

Bruce Bender,

Updated: 12/27/2016
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