WASHINGTON – The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials was today awarded by the Federal Highway Administration a five year cooperative agreement to continue the Center for Environmental Excellence to advance a strategic national program to maximize efficiency, reliability and consistency in delivering environmentally sound transportation projects, programs and services.
Authorized by Congress through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, the new cooperative agreement continues the partnership between AASHTO and FHWA that provides a forum to promote and support a strategic national program for environmental excellence in surface transportation.
"The traveling public expects transportation projects that not only improve mobility, but also protect and preserve the environment and help create healthy and vibrant communities, " said Bud Wright AASHTO executive director. "The Center gives transportation providers access to the tools they need to make environmental stewardship part of their mission and everyday activities."
The Center was established in 2001 by AASHTO and FHWA to assist state transportation agencies and their partners in incorporating environmental stewardship and sustainability into transportation planning, project development, construction, maintenance, and operations; and to streamline the delivery of transportation programs and projects.
Under the new cooperative agreement, the Center will expand its focus to provide resources and information to cities; counties; metropolitan planning organizations; local planning organizations; other federal and state surface transportation agencies, and; surface transportation research organizations.
"FHWA and AASHTO recognize that environmental stewardship plays a key role in the delivery of transportation programs, at all levels of government," said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "The Center will engage a wide array of transportation leaders to identify environmental issues, research needs, challenges and opportunities related to transportation and the environment."
The Center develops practitioner-oriented work products that have practical applications. It also facilitates information-sharing, provides technical assistance, and supports partnership building. The Center also offers training, and the development and promotion of effective practices, tools, and innovative techniques.
The Center maintains data archives that cover more than 20 environmental topics and include a comprehensive library of programmatic agreements; a roadmap for developing and implementing programmatic agreements; a Case Law Updates on Environment database, and; the Transportation and Environment Research Ideas database.
Learn more about the agreement and the Center for Environmental Excellence website at: