FHWA proposes emissions measurements to gauge success of transportation projects

Updated May 7, 2016

MN minneapolis - hennepin avenue bridge 2The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would measure the success of transportation projects based upon greenhouse gas and other air emissions.

According to an announcement from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), under the proposal, states would be required to monitor, report, and set targets for improving performance by measuring travel reliability, peak-hour congestion, freight movements, and on-road emissions of pollutants like ozone.

The measures would then be used to manage investment of Federal-aid highway funds to achieve state performance goals, which would, ultimately, help make progress towards meeting national goals.

One of the national commissions set up for SAFETEA-LU legislation called for establishing such performance measures. However, the notice proposes going beyond MAP-21 requirements, addressing the Administration’s climate agenda by expanding the proposed rule to include greenhouse gas emissions.

The AGC says that the proposal asks for comments on whether and how to establish performance measures for climate-related (greenhouse gas) emissions and whether or not emissions from off-road construction equipment should be included. The measures could then be used to determine whether to move forward with specific highway or bridge improvement projects.

The AGC plans to respond to the rule during the 90-day comment period.