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Transportation Sector Law and Policy

This tab includes laws and policies for avoiding or reducing climate change impacts to the transportation sector, including best practices and legal and policy analysis.

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The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

November 15, 2021

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) (H. R. 3684, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) was signed into law on November 15, 2021. It includes historic levels of investment for infrastructure — $550 billion in new spending over five years and $650 billion for existing programs, totaling $1. 2 trillion. IIJA includes numerous standalone acts, including the Surface Transportation Investment Act of 2021, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Act of 2021, the Repairing Existing Public Land by Adding Necessary Trees (REPLANT) Act, and the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Appropriations Act.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Hawaii Highways Climate Adaptation Action Plan

May 2021

In May 2021, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Highways Division released the Hawaii Highways Climate Adaptation Action Plan. The Action Plan will serve as a roadmap to make Hawaii’s highways more resilient to climate change based on a forward-looking analysis that recognizes the impacts of climate change-related hazards on transportation assets. This is a noteworthy step for Hawaii, which is updating its traditional highway design and planning processes.  The Action Plan is a useful example for state departments of transportation, local metropolitan planning organizations, and other planners and policymakers looking to incorporate climate change impacts and considerations into transportation exposure assessments, plans, and designs.

Related Organizations: Hawaii Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Broward County, Florida Ordinance 2017-16 and Future Conditions Maps for Infrastructure Design

May 26, 2017

Pursuant to Broward County Ordinance 2017-16, Broward County, Florida is referring to new groundwater maps that display how sea-level rise and precipitation changes are expected to affect future groundwater levels in reviewing applications for surface water management (i. e. , drainage infrastructure) licenses required for certain development projects. Due to the porous limestone geology throughout much of Southeast Florida, saltwater intrusion and increasing groundwater table levels are an increasingly concerning effect of rising sea levels.

Related Organizations: Broward County Commission

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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California Senate Bill 1 (SB-1): Transportation Funding

May 1, 2017

In May 2017 California approved Senate Bill 1 which allocated $52.3 billion for a new Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program, up to $20 billion of which was designated to support climate change adaptation planning at a local or regional level. While the law primarily focuses on reducing emissions, it also addresses the need for adaptation by requiring agencies and localities receiving funding to implement adaptive efforts, where cost-effective and feasible.

Related Organizations: State of California

Resource Category: Funding

 

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New York Regulation - Part 490 - Projected Sea-Level Rise

February 2017

New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finalized this regulation establishing statewide science-based sea-level rise projections for the three distinct coastal regions of the state: Mid-Hudson, New York City/Lower Hudson, and Long Island. The projections, which were required by the 2014 Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA), will be used and considered by state agencies and applicants in state permitting and other decisionmaking processes, as required by CRRA.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Monroe County, Florida Resolution 028-2017 - Interim Road Design Standards

January 18, 2017

In 2017, as a result of severe tidal flooding from king (i. e. exceptionally high) tides in 2015 and 2016 and increasing sea-level rise estimates, Monroe County, Florida—a low-lying area covering the Florida Keys and Everglades—adopted interim design standards specifying minimum road elevation requirements. [ref title=""]Monroe County Board of Commissioners Meeting, Wednesday, January 18, 2017; Agenda Items M. 6, M. 7. [/ref] The design standards are largely informed by recommendations included in the County’s Final Report for the Monroe County Pilot Roads Project: The Sands and Twin Lakes Communities (Final Report) which examined nuisance flooding in Key Largo and Big Pine Key, where king tide flooding was highest.

Related Organizations: Monroe County, Florida

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Washington State DOT (WSDOT) Guidance for Project-Level Climate Change Evaluation

January 2017 Update

The Washington State DOT (WSDOT) issued this guidance to assist the agency’s project planners in considering climate change impacts, which is required for all WSDOT projects subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). In addition to obligations under NEPA and SEPA, WSDOT’s 2011-2017 Strategic Plan directs the agency to evaluate future climate-related risks and identify strategies to reduce risk. The guidance provides a standard process for analysis and template language to enable planning-level consideration of Washington’s projected climate impacts.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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FHWA's Risk-Based Asset Management Planning Rule

October 24, 2016

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued this final rule to implement new planning requirements established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST). MAP-21 and FAST require state departments of transportation (DOTs) to transition to performance-based decision-making, a large part of which is the development of a risk-based asset management plan. The new requirements are intended to ensure that federal transportation funding is spent more wisely, with specific performance targets in mind and in consideration of the likely costs to construct, operate, and maintain transportation assets over their full lifetime.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Public-Private Partnership (P3) Model State Legislation

December 2015

The Bipartisan Policy Center created this model legislation to help states pass public-private partnership (P3) enabling laws to encourage private-sector investment in infrastructure (wastewater, transportation, stormwater, and green infrastructure). P3s could be an important tool for helping state and local governments finance the investments they need to make to adapt infrastructure systems.  P3s allow the government to contract with a private sector partner to fulfill one or more traditional government functions, including financing, delivery, operations, and maintenance of public infrastructure.

Related Organizations: Bipartisan Policy Center

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Massachusetts Port Authority Resiliency Program and Floodproofing Design Guide

April 2015

In 2014, the Massachusetts Port Authority (“Massport”) began the Massport Resiliency Program to protect Massport transportation facilities from flooding hazards caused by extreme storms and rising sea levels as a result of climate change. The program seeks to better prepare for the impacts of climate change by incorporating resilience principles into Massport’s business strategy and operations. As a part of this program, Massport created a Floodproofing Design Guide (“Guide”) that will help make the built environment resilient to sea-level rise and major flood events.

Related Organizations: Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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