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FHWA Fund Would Target Transport Pollution

[ March 22, 2024   //   ]

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration said March 12 it has launched the Low Carbon Transportation Materials (LCTM) Program in an effort to improve air quality, decrease pollution and tackle the climate crisis.
The program is aimed at lowering air pollution, specifically greenhouse gas emissions through reimbursement and incentive funding for low-carbon construction materials and products used in transportation, the FHWA said.
The program will make about US$2 billion available from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act for the program. FHWA will later make an additional US$800 million available to target non-state applicants, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments or agencies, federally recognized tribes, Federal Lands Management Agencies and other agencies through a Notice of Funding Opportunity.
The LCTM Program will make US$1.2 billion available to state departments of transportation, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, through a request for applications to fund activities and projects that advance the use of low-carbon materials and products. The RFA approach will allow FHWA to quickly reimburse or incentivize funds to states to begin eligible activities and incorporate low-carbon materials on construction projects.
FHWA said the program also will help transportation agencies:

  • Develop specifications for collecting documentation of a materials embodied greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Develop or update technical specifications to allow for use of materials, products, and strategies that result in lower embodied carbon materials.
  • Establish a process to identify, verify, and use materials with lower levels of embodied greenhouse gas emissions.
    “Transportation and industrial sectors make up about half of our economy’s emissions contributing to climate change — but today, the Biden-Harris Administration takes another important step to change that,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “As we modernize America’s infrastructure through President Biden’s infrastructure law, we’re proud to announce this first-of-its-kind program to accelerate the use of cleaner construction materials that create less carbon pollution.”
    The U.S. government is the world’s largest purchaser with an annual spend of US$630 billion.
    “To achieve our goal of addressing climate change, we must encourage investment in more sustainable transportation,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “The use of lower carbon materials, which match the durability of conventional materials while lowering pollution, is one pathway that will help us achieve President Biden’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”
    The LCTM program is one of three new programs at FHWA created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. These programs together provide more than US$5 billon for critical new work.
    This program also supports the Department of Transportation’s Buy Clean Initiative and builds on several existing FHWA programs to tackle the climate crisis, including the Pavement Materials Program, Sustainable Pavements Program, Every Day Counts Innovation on Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for Sustainable Project Delivery, the Climate Challenge on Quantifying Emissions of Sustainable Pavements, and the Carbon Reduction Program.
LCTM Program will make US$1.2 billion available to state departments of transportation. PHOTO: Washington Post

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