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FHWA Resource Center

ENVIRONMENT TEAM

Volume 4, Issue 2
April 2008

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Dear Environmental Colleague,
In this issue of EQ we bring you information from the staff of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution about a new collaboration training class.

In addition, in honor of Earth Day 2008, we are featuring several articles about the topic of reuse and recycling, including some interesting information about some work the professionals in the paving and materials industry are doing to preserve the environment.

As always, if you have comments about a story or story ideas, please let us know.

Sincerely, Don Cote
Environment Technical Service Team (TST) Team Manager & Editor–in-Chief
Phone: (720) 963-3210
E-mail: don.cote@fhwa.dot.gov

INSIDE

03 Collaboration in NEPA
04 Construction & Demo Materials:
Not Just for Landfills Anymore
06 The Green Highway Partnership
08 CPESC: Oversight by Professionals
Improves Erosion & Sediment
Control on TN Highway Construction
Projects
10 New Tribal Consultation
Resource Available
10 National FHWA Environmental
Conference Update
11 Environmental Calendar

NEW Collaboration Training Program Offered through the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution
by the staff of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution

Photo of adults listening to a woman speaking while in a classroom setting

Caption: What constitutes successful collaboration? What skills are needed and how do you learn to improve them? Establishing a give and take relationship . . . a rapport? Listening and interacting respectfully as depicted here?

"Collaboration" has become an important tool in FHWA's approach to fulfilling mandates in SAFTEA-LU and meeting transportation agencies' missions. The goal is more efficient and effective transportation and environmental decision making. But what constitutes successful collaboration? What skills are needed and how do you learn and improve them? How can your collaborative, inter-agency teams deal more effectively with high staff turnover? What do you do when the other agencies and your agency seem to be heading in opposite directions? How do you measure progress and continue to improve performance?

This article announces an exciting training resource – the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (U.S. Institute) – and describes how your agency can take advantage of the partnership between the U.S. Institute and FHWA.

The U.S. Institute has created a series of trainings to help agencies develop and expand their capacity to work collaboratively. The U.S. Institute offers standardized courses at its headquarters in Tucson, AZ, as well as at other locations. In addition, courses of various lengths can be customized to meet agencies specific needs. Here's a sampling:

Course
Description
Collaborative Competencies Using a fictional transportation scenario involving a complex set of stakeholders interested in the site of an interstate bypass, the U.S. Institute’s Collaborative Competencies course enables the discovery of the essential traits that make good collaborators while remaining focused on getting results. Participants develop resilient strategies to enhance skills in relationship building, communication, knowledge sharing, problem solving, conflict management, interest-based negotiation, and facilitation of environmental and natural resource collaborations.
Advanced Multi-Party Negotiation of Environmental Disputes Negotiators apply principles learned in the Collaborative Competencies course including interest-based negotiation, self-awareness, and group dynamics of complex multi-party negotiations to resolve environmental disputes and maximize sustainable solutions. Learn new tools to help assess strengths and areas for improvement in communication, relationship building and conflict style.

Caption: Chart with two courses described. The first is Collaborative Competencies and is described as follows: Using a fictional transportation scenario involving a complex set of stakeholders interested in the site of an interstate bypass, the U.S. Institute’s Collaborative Competencies course enables the discovery of the essential traits that make good collaborators while remaining focused on getting results. Participants develop resilient strategies to enhance skills in relationship building, communication, knowledge sharing, problem solving, conflict management, interest-based negotiation, and facilitation of environmental and natural resource collaborations. The second course is Advanced Multi-Party Negotiation of Environmental Disputes and is described as follows: Negotiators apply principles learned in the Collaborative Competencies course including interest-based negotiation, self-awareness, and group dynamics of complex multi-party negotiations to resolve environmental disputes and maximize sustainable solutions. Learn new tools to help assess strengths and areas for improvement in communication, relationship building and conflict style.

Our other training courses include:
• Introduction to Managing Environmental Conflict
• Facilitative Leadership in ECR
• Laying the Groundwork for Government-to-Government Consultation

Key FHWA programs such as Planning and Environmental Linkages and Context Sensitive Solutions both emphasize the need to integrate transportation planning and environmental considerations and also to develop projects that reflect the natural and social/cultural settings where they will be located. Collaboration training can help your agency achieve the goals of these programs efficiently and effectively.

Visit our Website! training.ecr.gov
Your staff can experience training that is dynamic, problem-based, and highly interactive. Participants learn "by doing" how to use collaborative approaches that promote workable solutions to environmental problems. Using an interactive approach to training with a minimum of formal lecture, learners practice new skills in role-plays that simulate real-life transportation and environmental situations.

The U.S. Institute can deliver courses at your site and can combine core training topics with scenarios built around real transportation cases to create training tailored to fit your specific needs. See our Website at http://training.ecr.gov/ for detailed descriptions of courses, a calendar of scheduled training sessions, online registration, and a waitlist to express interest in future courses or to inquire about scheduling on-site, customized training. Visitors to the website can find a self-assessment quiz that will help identify specific training needs. Our Website also showcases some successful collaborations such as the St. Croix River Crossing Controversy in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Photo of business people gathered around a table having a meeting.

Caption: A common scene in most offices these days--management making the most of the knowledge and input available from the whole team -- working collaboratively to solve problems.

To discuss ways the U.S. Institute can help you and your agency increase competence in collaborative problem solving, contact:

Joan Calcagno
Senior Program Manager, Transportation and Urban Development
130 South Scott Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701
(520) 901-8552
calcagno@ecr.gov

Council on Environmental Quality Publication, Collaboration in NEPA - A Handbook for NEPA Practitioners, Now Available
by Mary Ann Rondinella, Environmental Program Specialist, FHWA Resource Center

In October 2007, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published Collaboration in NEPA - A Handbook for Practitioners. The handbook can be viewed and downloaded free of charge at the CEQ NEPAnet website at http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/nepanet.htm.

The handbook was developed by the CEQ’s Interagency Work Group on Collaboration. The work group was led by Kirk Emerson, Director of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and Elena Gonzalez, Director of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution at the U.S. Department of Interior. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was represented by Ruth Rentch of the Office of Project Development and Environmental Review.

The handbook’s purpose is to assist NEPA practitioners in expanding the effective use of collaboration as part of the NEPA process. In a previous report on modernizing NEPA, the NEPA Task Force found that collaborative approaches to engaging the public and assessing impacts can improve the quality of decision making and increase public trust and confidence in agency decisions. The handbook is intended to help NEPA practitioners identify and realize opportunities to collaborate throughout the NEPA process.

While recognizing that Federal agencies remain responsible for decision making under NEPA, the handbook presents a useful comparison of different levels of engagement during NEPA:

Inform: Provide parties with comprehensive, accurate and timely information about NEPA decision making.
Consult: Keep parties informed, consider their concerns, and document how their input was considered.
Involve: Communicate with parties to ensure concerns are addressed within legal and policy constraints. Provide iterative feedback on how their input was considered during the decision making process.
Collaborate: Work directly with parties to seek advice and agreement at one or more stages, to possibly include purpose and need, range of alternatives, methodologies, impact analysis, identifying a preferred alternative, and mitigation options.

The handbook goes on to define the different phases of collaboration. They include: assessment and planning; convening and initiation; sharing interests and information; seeking agreement through deliberation and negotiation; and decision making and implementation. The early phases answer fundamental questions for designing a collaborative NEPA process: determining whether, with whom, when, and how to collaborate on NEPA. Facilitators and mediators can be brought in to help guide this process.

Puzzle piece representing how many agencies contribute to the whole.

Caption: Many agencies have a piece to provide in the NEPA process.

Section VI of the handbook goes into further detail on how collaboration can play a role during the different stages of the NEPA process. For example, during analysis of the affected environment and impacts, lead agencies can work collaboratively with other agencies or parties to determine the appropriate methodologies and criteria to use for scientific analyses. In the SAFETEA-LU 6002 Environmental Review Process (ERP), the lead agencies must determine, in collaboration with the participating agencies, the appropriate methodologies to be used and the level of detail required in the analysis of alternatives. The FHWA/FTA guidance on the 6002 ERP states, “Accordingly, the lead agencies must work cooperatively and interactively with the relevant participating agencies on the methodology and level of detail to be used in a particular analysis. Consensus is not required, but the lead agencies must consider the views of the participating agencies with relevant interests before making a decision on a particular methodology.” (For more information about the ERP, see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/section6002/index.htm

The handbook also contains case studies, including the US 93 Evaro to Polson Corridor in Montana, the St. Croix River Crossing Project in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the Collaborative Environmental and Transportation Agreement for Streamlining in Oregon.

For more information about the handbook, contact:

Ruth Rentch
FHWA Headquarters
Office of Project Development and Environmental Review
(202) 366-2034
ruth.rentch@dot.gov

Construction and Demolition Materials: Not Just for Landfills Anymore!
by Mary Ann Rondinella, Environmental Program Specialist, FHWA Resource Center

We see them everywhere we go, reminders to reuse and recycle objects we use everyday. They range from the ever-popular barrels used to collect cans and bottles to more sophisticated operations to recycle consumer electronics. Many grocery stores collect plastic bags. Some shops even offer bag “bounties” of a few cents as an incentive for customers to reuse bags. Some grocery stores even sell reusable canvas tote bags to use in lieu of disposable plastic and paper ones.

Reuse and recycling of previously discarded materials can save money and energy.

But what about the reuse and recycle of materials from construction and demolition activities? Many of us think of these items as worthless junk or debris. Except when an overlooked architectural treasure gets salvaged by an enterprising dumpster diver, we usually think of this material as unwanted and useless. Its only conceivable destiny is a landfill, right? Wrong!

Increasingly, government agencies, businesses and non-profit organizations have discovered that construction and demolition materials (CDM) can be successfully reused and recycled. In some cases, they have been found to perform as well as or better than new materials.

So many activities, so much stuff. Where does this material come from? A surprisingly wide range of activities generate CDM. They include:

• Site clearance and excavation
• New construction
• Renovation and repair
• Demolition
• Roadway projects
• Bridge construction or reconstruction
• Disaster clean-up

Even new construction can generate these materials. Think about a contractor building a home. No matter how carefully he or she measures the attic, walls, floors, or countertops, there will always be a little “extra” to take into account for measurement errors or even a bad cut that just won’t do. The leftover material used to be routinely discarded in public or private landfills or waste pits.

There is a Better Way
During a web conference sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on February 21, 2008, participants learned about a completely different approach. Bob Brickner, Executive Vice President of Gershman, Brickner, and Bratton, Inc., presented a fascinating case study from Nashville, TN. The City of Nashville decided to dismantle and demolish a 30-year-old waste-to-energy facility. The original cost of the project was estimated at $2.4 million. Of the more than 66,000 tons of material generated, 98.5 percent was reused or recycled. The net cost, after reuse and recycling, was just $115,000. As Brickner explained, by reusing and recycling almost all of the material, the city
effectively gave itself a $2 million grant to use for other purposes.

How CDM Can Be Reused and Recycled
In the Nashville example, a number of strategies for reuse and recycle were used. Concrete, which made up more than 70 percent of the CDM by weight, was crushed and turned into aggregate.

Asphalt was also crushed and reused. Structural metal, rebar, and other reusable items were auctioned for recycling. Some items, of course, could not be reused. Asbestos, a regulated hazardous material, was sent to a landfill.

Photo of construction truck laying materials on a new roadway.

Caption: Photo of construction truck laying materials on a new roadway. TX DOT used small pieces of recycled glass in road base for this project in Abilene. Glass is readily available from community recycling programs. (TX DOT photo)

Highway Agencies are Leading the Way
Highway agencies have pioneered the practice of reuse and recycle of roadway materials. Concrete and asphalt can be recycled into materials that perform as well as or better than newly processed material, at a fraction of the cost. Highway agencies also recycle structural steel when transportation facilities are repaired or rehabilitated.

In 2002, the FHWA issued the following recycled materials policy:

1. Recycling and reuse can offer engineering, economic and environmental benefits.
2. Recycled materials should get first consideration in materials selection.
3. Determination of the use of recycled materials should include an initial review of engineering and environmental suitability.
4. An assessment of economic benefits should follow in the selection process.
5. Restrictions that prohibit the use of recycled materials without technical basis should be removed from specifications.

The entire policy memo can be viewed at: www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/policy/ recmatpolicy.htm

The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center has published a booklet titled User Guidelines for Waste and By-Product Materials in Pavement Construction. The document describes numerous materials that can be recycled for highway applications. It is available free of charge at www.tfhrc.gov/hnr20/recycle/waste/ begin.htm.

In addition, the FHWA and the EPA jointly fund the Recycled Materials Research Center. Based at the University of New Hampshire and University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Center’s mission is to “overcome barriers to use of recycled materials in the highway environment.” More information about the Center can be found at www.recycledmaterials.org.

Turning Trash Into Opportunity
CDM may not constitute anyone’s definition of treasure. But a broad coalition of agencies, organizations and private sector stakeholders are recognizing that hauling and disposing of CDM in landfills has become costly, and in some cases, environmentally unacceptable. Reuse and recyling of CDM represents opportunities to turn large volumes of material into useful commodities. In a time of soaring energy costs and dwindling disposal space, these opportunities deserve careful consideration whenever activities that generate CDM are planned.

;  Photo of a row of recycling receptacles that NC DOT provides at rest areas and welcome centers.

Caption; Photo of a row of recycling receptacles that NC DOT provides at rest areas and welcome centers. (NC DOT photo)

For more information on recycling and the reuse of pavements, please contact:

Jason Harrington
Asphalt Pavement Engineer
FHWA Headquarters
(202) 366-1576
jason.harrington@dot.gov

Steve Mueller
Pavement And Materials Engineer
FHWA Resource Center
(720) 963-3213
steve.mueller@dot.gov

Sidebar to Construction & Demo Materials Article:
Above and Beyond: The Environmental and Social Contributions of America’s Highway Programs
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has issued a new report entitled Above and Beyond: The Environmental and Social Contributions of America’s Highway Programs which is on how highway programs are connecting and enhancing communities and the natural environment. The report contains information and fascinating case studies for several topics ranging from transportation and land use planning to noise walls. The report includes a chapter on recycling efforts, featuring case studies from Minnesota and Texas. The report can be viewed and downloaded free of charge at the AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence website, at http://environment.transportation.org/center/products_programs/above_beyond.aspx

The Green Highway Partnership:
Promoting Environmental Stewardship for our Transportation Infrastructure

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is proud to be a one of the national leaders in the Green Highway Partnership (GHP), a voluntary public/private initiative to promote environmental stewardship and streamlining for transportation infrastructure. The GHP began in the Mid-Atlantic region and remains very active there. Numerous GHP activities and projects have been completed by State agencies in MD, VA, NJ, NY, WV among others. These GHP efforts have involved partners such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), various industrial and commercial partners, and associations such as the American Concrete Pavement Association, American Coal Ash Association, Industrial Resource Council, and the National Asphalt Pavement Association. Although different projects may bring different partners together, they are all striving to create a transportation system that serves the needs of America’s citizens and improving the environment surrounding the system.

The GHP concept is spreading rapidly throughout other regions of the United States as an extensive network of environmental, industrial, and governmental partners begins to consider how to apply the concept of sustainability to their highway infrastructure. Discussions between the FHWA and the U.S. EPA are underway to develop a roadmap to focus future actions. Topics being discussed include methods to share best practices, development of new partnerships, and marketing outreach plans to encourage and increase the use of green technologies in highway design, construction, operations, maintenance, and preservation.

For more information on the Green Highway Partnership, please visit www.greenhighways.org
or contact

Jason Harrington
Asphalt Pavement Engineer

FHWA Headquarters
(202) 366-1576
jason.harrington@dot.gov

Marlys Osterhues
Environmental Protection Specialist

FHWA Headquarters
(202) 366-2052
marlys.osterhues@dot.gov

 

Green Highway Program Leadership
Forum & Recognition Program Awards

At a recent recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C., King Gee, FHWA’s Associate Administrator for Infrastructure, was presented a Green Highway
Program (GHP) Leadership Award
for his efforts with the GHP, along with those of Fred Skaer, Director, Office of Project Development & Environmental Review, and Nelson Castellanos, FHWA Maryland Division Administrator. Of the acknowledgment, Gee said, “Stewardship of our Federal financial resources and the National Highway System has always been a key component of the Office of Infrastructure’s mission, and I am very pleased that we are now being recognized for our efforts to be good stewards of our environmental resources as well. Our staff is dedicated to supporting successful programs and projects that have carefully considered the three E’s of our profession: Engineering, Economics, and the Environment.”

King Gee accepts the Green Highway Program Leadership Award for his enthusiastic support of the FHWA’s involvement in GHP efforts.  The award was presented by Gloria Shepherd, Associate Administrator of Planning, Environment, & Realty, at a ceremony held on January 15, 2008, in Washington, D.C.

Caption: King Gee accepts the Green Highway Program Leadership Award for his enthusiastic support of the FHWA’s involvement in GHP efforts. The award was presented by Gloria Shepherd, Associate Administrator of Planning, Environment, & Realty, at a ceremony held on January 15, 2008, in Washington, D.C. The inscription reads, “Recognizing King Gee For Exemplary Leadership Towards Achieving the GHP Mission “Better than Before” 2008.”
HTML Caption: Photo of King Gee accepting the Greener Highway Partnership Award from Gloria Shepherd, Associate Administrator for the FHWA Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty.

In addition the aforementioned FHWA executives, EPA staff that were recognized included Maria Vickers, Jon Capacasa, John Pomponio, and Craig Hooks. David Goss of the American Coal Ash Association, and Neil Weinstein of the Low Impact Development Center were also honored for their efforts with the GHP. Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator of the Maryland State Highway Administration, was also recognized for his work within AASHTO and within his State to promote the concepts of the GHP.

FHWA’s Use of Recycled Materials Policy
The FHWA has long supported recycling, and issued our current formal policy on the Use of Recycled Materials on February 7, 2002 in a memorandum by then FHWA Executive Director Bud Wright. In the memo, Wright stated “The policy outlines the importance of re-using materials previously used in constructing our Nation’s highway system, and calls upon us, and the State transportation departments, to explicitly consider recycling as early as possible in the development of every project.” The memo went on to say: “Moreover, the new policy has the potential to strengthen the relationship between the FHWA and the Environmental Protection Agency, and to forge new partnerships among government, industry, and academia. By providing leadership and technical guidance to the transportation community, the FHWA will stimulate advancements in recycling technology and the discovery of new opportunities for the appropriate use of recycled materials.” The Green Highway Partnership (GHP) fits the vision outlined in the memo.

The GHP is just one of a number of efforts that have been undertaken by the FHWA in the ensuing years. The FHWA has long-supported the Recycled Materials Resource Center and the AASHTO Center on Environmental Excellence. The agency has developed and published numerous guidebooks on the use and re-use of a number of industrial by-products such as foundry sand, slag, and fly-ash in the construction of our transportation facilities. The FHWA has worked with industry associations such as the Asphalt Reclaiming and Recycling Association (ARRA) and the International Slurry Surfacing Association (ISSA), to promote recycling and preservation processes that are both economical and environmentally sensitive. Currently, the FHWA supports the Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement and the Warm Mix Asphalt Expert Task Groups in their efforts to expand the use of these energy-saving technologies within the HMA industry.

For more details on the FHWA’s efforts in these areas, please visit: www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/

Recycled Materials Resource Center News
The Recycled Materials Resource Center (RMRC), a joint effort of the University of New Hampshire and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is under contract with the FHWA and has received funding support from the U.S. EPA to provide outreach services and research that advance recycling and re-use technologies. Please visit the new RMRC website: www.recycledmaterials.org for more information on their activities and programs. State agencies that are interested in working together study the best use of recycled materials in highway applications and to answer any technical questions and issues on the use of recycled materials may want to consider participating in the pooled-fund study being organized by the FHWA and RMRC. States interested in contributing to the pooled fund can learn more about the project by visiting FHWA’s transportation pooled fund website (http://www.pooledfund.org/projectdetails.asp?id=1177&status=1).

For more information on this contact Jeffery Melton at Jeffery.Melton@unh.edu.

Earth Day Activities: April 22, 2008
Two informative events concerning recycling technologies will take place on Earth Day, April 22, 2008. The events are FHWA sponsored webinars offered through the National Highway Institute training portal at www.nhi.dot.gov.

The first webinar will be conducted by the Recycled Materials Resource Center. This webinar will help participants become acquainted with the activities and successes of the RMRC and will also provide information about the RMRC’s pooled-fund study. State agency materials and research engineers are encouraged to participate. They are also being asked to provide feedback on potential research projects that could be of benefit in their States. Please visit this site to register: www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/create.aspx?webConfID=13933.

The second webinar will focus on In-Place Recycling Technologies. The webinar will feature speakers from FHWA, State agencies, and the Asphalt Recycling and Reclaiming Association. The webinar will feature brief overviews of the recycling processes, presentations on the FHWA’s policies and the environmental benefits of these technologies. This webinar will serve as an introduction for the regional workshop, which will be held in Salt Lake City in June 2008. Potential workshop participants from WASHTO and the Rocky Mountain States are particularly encouraged to attend. Please visit this site to register: www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/viewconference.aspx?webConfID=13647

Special thanks to Steve Mueller, Pavement and Materials Engineer, FHWA Resource Center, for contributing this article as we celebrate Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, 2008.

CPESC: Oversight by Professionals Improves Erosion and Sediment Control on Tennessee Highway Construction Projects
by Greg Northcutt, Erosion Control magazine by CPESC Inc
This article is part of a regular column provided to Erosion Control magazine by CPESC Inc. It has been reprinted with permission from both CPESC Inc. and Erosion Control Magazine (January/February 2008, http://www.erosioncontrol.com/ecm_0801_cpesc.html ).

In 2004, following a series of incidents in which sediment discharged from Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) highway construction projects into nearby streams, the agency signed a consent order and agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

As one of the provisions, TDOT agreed to have all erosion prevention and sediment control plans designed or reviewed for proper best management practice (BMP) implementation, installation, and maintenance by an independent consultant who has a CPESC (Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control) certificate or has substantial professional experience in soil erosion and sediment control and has been approved, in writing, by the TDEC.

At the time, it was felt that many of the engineers who were designing the erosion and sediment control plans for TDOT projects could enhance their skills with additional training in the specialty area of erosion and sediment control, notes Jody Knox, CPESC, environmental compliance officer with TDOT. He was the agency’s first CPESC registrant and was hired not long after the consent agreement was signed.

Better Plans
In reaching this agreement, TDEC and TDOT officials determined that a more stringent review process was needed for developing erosion and sediment control plans on highway construction projects. Looking for organizations that would document the qualifications of people to prepare these plans, they found CPESC Inc.

“They really liked the fact that the CPESC certificate wasn’t issued just because someone has the proper degree or other credentials,” Knox says. “Applicants also have to pass a written test demonstrating their knowledge of erosion and sediment control practices and regulations.”

As a result, TDEC and TDOT officials met with CPESC Inc. Executive Director David Ward, CPESC, and Ted Sherrod, P.E.,CPESC, CPSWQ (Certified Professional in Storm Water Quality), council chair of the CPESC Inc. Executive Committee. At the time, Sherrod was the representative for the CPESC Southeast Region, which includes Tennessee. “We discussed how the CPESC certificate could help them raise the level of professionalism in design and implementation for controlling erosion and sediment on TDOT projects,” he says.

“CPESC Inc. has been very responsive,” says Knox. “They knew that we were addressing the conditions of the consent order, and even before we decided on the CPESC review requirement, they helped TDOT and TDEC understand exactly what we needed to do to improve compliance.”

Better Reviews
The CPESC registrant serves two roles in TDOT’s erosion and sediment control program. One is to conduct preliminary reviews, right-of-way field reviews, and construction field reviews. “Rather than looking at the location of an individual BMP, such as a check dam, they look at the bigger picture and how to phase implementation of the plan so that, for example, all outfalls are properly protected as construction activities proceed throughout the project,” Knox says.

Once plans are finalized to the CPESC reviewer’s satisfaction, that person signs a statement indicating that the BMPs have been found to be “designed so that, if properly implemented, installed, and maintained, they will manage erosion and prevent sediment accumulation in the waters of the state and comply with the terms of the general permit.”

The CPESC certification also plays a key role in another aspect of the TDEC-TDOT consent agreement—the Quality Assurance/Quality Control team. This a group of consultants, independent of the construction project, who review and report on project sites in the field once a month or, if the project is near high-quality waters (such as a trout stream), twice a month. The leader of this team must be an active CPESC or a CPESC-in-Training (a person qualified to take the CPESC exam).

Better Results
The consent agreement required all provisions to be implemented statewide within six months of signing. “At first project designers weren’t very receptive to input from the CPESC registrants,” Knox says. “But, once we got the heads of the design groups to buy into it, things went much smoother.”

Implementation of the agreement also prompted many of the consultants who worked with TDOT to become certified. “The people at CPESC Inc. bent over backward to provide instructors in Tennessee for the review course that helps prepare people to take the exam and to quickly process the paperwork required for taking the exam,” he adds.
Because of the long lead-time between design of an erosion control plan and start of construction, no TDOT projects were delayed because of the CPESC requirement, Knox reports.

“Awareness of the need to plan for all proper erosion and sediment control practices by our TDOT and consulting designers has really increased,” he says. “For example, now they’re looking farther ahead and including measures in the plans, like indicating where haul roads need to go, that they didn’t do in the past.”

Meanwhile, the number of sediment discharges reported by TDOT is about the same as before. “However, the amount of sediment getting into streams has been substantially minimized,” Knox explains. “As a result of the CPESC review process, we’re providing much better erosion and sediment control plans. But we still need to improve the way these plans are implemented in the field.”

New Tribal Consultation Resource Available!

Author, Stephanie Stoermer - an Environmental Program Specialist/Archeologist from the Resource Center

Caption: Author, Stephanie Stoermer - an Environmental Program Specialist/Archeologist from the Resource Center – holds a copy of the new tribal consultation case study she wrote.

A brand new tribal consultation case study, In Their Own Light, was recently completed and is available in print form or for download from the FHWA Resource Center web site: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/solutions.cfm.

Written by Resource Center Environmental Program Specialist/Archeologist, Stephanie Stoermer, the case study highlights the best practices employed during the development and the implementation of the North Dakota Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA). During the development of the case study, Stoermer interviewed members of the tribes who are signatories to the North Dakota PA, NDDOT cultural resources staff, and the FHWA North Dakota Division in order to elicit their views regarding what constitutes successful consultation. In addition to describing the history and context of the North Dakota PA, the case study provides a broad overview of the regulatory and cultural context of tribal consultation.

Stephanie Stoermer leads both an American Indian Best Practices workshop and a Section 106 – Historic Preservation workshop for the Resource Center.

UPDATE: 2008 National FHWA Environmental Conference
Planning is underway for the 2008 National FHWA Environmental Conference, which will be held from June 17-19, in Washington D.C.

The conference is for internal FHWA staff and employees working to oversee the delivery of the agency’s environmental stewardship programs. For registration and information, visit the conference website at www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/conference/

Because this year’s conference is designed to build on the topics and discussions held at the 2004 and 2006 conferences, conference proceedings from these years are available for review on the web site. The full conference agenda will be available on the site as soon as it is finalized. Contact information for the planning committee members can be found on the site as well.

The conference, which will take place at the Washington Plaza Hotel, is being
planned by Headquarters, Division Office, FHWA Resource Center and Federal Lands Highway staff members. Government rate rooms are available until May 17.

Upcoming Training Schedule:

Collaborative Competencies
April 16-18, 2008 Washington DC
George Washington University Cafritz Conference Center, Room 302

Advanced Multi-Party Negotiation of Environmental Disputes
July 30-Aug 1, 2008
Washington DC
George Washington University Cafritz Conference Center

What's Going On?

Here are a few of the upcoming events of interest to the environmental community:

April 2008
Apr 13 - 16 - Solutions to Coastal Disasters
Conference 2008 - Honolulu, HI
E-mail: ewatson@asce.org

Apr 22 - EARTH DAY

May 2008
5th National ECR2008 Conference

May 11 - 17 - National Transportation Week -
More Info? Visit: www.ntweek.org/

May 18 - 24 - National Public Works Week
More Info? Visit: www.apwa.net/About/NPWW/

May 20-22
National Environmental Conflict Resolution
Conference - Tucson, AZ
www.ecr.gov

May 27-30
Weeds Across Borders, Banff - Alberta, Canada

June 2008
June 17-19
FHWA National Environmental Conference -
Washington D.C.
http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/conference/

June 24-27
Air and Waste Management Association Annual Conference - Portland, OR

July 2008
July 13-17
AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment
Monterrey, CA

July 21-23
TRB ADAC40 Transportation, Noise & Vibration Summer Meeting - Key West, FL

July 28 - August 1 (tentative)
TRB ADC10, ADC30 and ADA40 Environment
Joint Summer Meeting - Denver, CO.

September 2008

Save the Date!
3rd Biennial Northeast
Transportation & Wildlife Conference
September 21 – 24, 2008
The Inns at Mill Falls, Meredith, NH

Focal topics include:
• Connectivity and Landscape Ecology (planning, integrating wildlife & transportation corridors, modeling landscape or wildlife connectivity/corridors, wildlife movement patterns & behaviors)
• Wildlife & Stream Crossing Structures or Road Design to improve Crossing Success (success & failures, new initiatives, research, design)
• Management for Wildlife (roadsides, railroads, airports, pipelines)
• Water Quality Issues & Mitigation

More details will be available in the next Environmental Quarterly newsletter.

November 2008
November 13-14
Road & Dust Management Practices and Future Needs Conference - San Antonio, TX
www.meetingsnorthwest.com/dustconference.htm

For additional conferences & events, visit FHWA’s Planning, Environment & Realty calendar at:
www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/calendar.htm.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Federal Highway Administration
Resource Center

Editor-in-Chief
Don Dote
Environment Technical Service Team
Team Manager
Phone: (720) 963-3210/Fax: (720) 963-3041
E-mail: don.cote@dot.gov

Editorial Board Members:
David Grachen, Environmental Program Specialist
Phone: (404) 562-3668/Fax: (404) 562-3700
E-mail: david.grachen@dot.gov

Brian Smith, Biology/Water Quality Specialist
Phone: (708) 283-3553/Fax: (708) 283-3501
E-mail: brian.smith@dot.gov

David Sullivan, Environmental Program Specialist
Phone: (404) 562-3669/Fax: (404) 562-3700
E-mail: david.sullivan@dot.gov

Aung Gye, Office of Project Development &
Environmental Review, FHWA HQ
Phone: (202) 366-2167/Fax: (202) 366-3077
E-mail: aung.gye@dot.gov

Managing Editor
Marie Roybal, Marketing Specialist
Phone: (720) 963-3241/Fax: (720) 963-3232
E-mail: marie.roybal@dot.gov

Production Schedule:
Due to our Quarterly publication schedule, all article submissions for future issues are due to the Editor-In-Chief by the 10th of March, June, September, and/or December

Getting the news:
If you would like to receive this newsletter electronically, please send your email address to: marie.roybal@dot.gov

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