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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

FHWA Highlights Efforts to Reduce Pollution, Combat Climate Change, and Improve Resiliency in Communities Nationwide

Monday, April 29, 2024

Biden-Harris Administration advances climate goals through recent infrastructure projects.

Tel: (202) 366-0660

WASHINGTON – In recognition of Earth Month 2024, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) celebrated several recent actions of the Biden-Harris Administration to advance climate goals through historic investments in infrastructure. FHWA is taking an active role in combatting climate change by reducing transportation-related emissions, funding resiliency projects to protect communities from climate impacts, and promoting healthy environments.

“While the transportation sector has been a major contributor to carbon emissions in the past, under the Biden-Harris Administration, the Federal Highway Administration is committed to reducing emissions and advancing sustainability goals through innovative infrastructure investments,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “As climate change continues to threaten our transportation systems and the people who rely on them every day, we’re working to future-proof our infrastructure to be more resilient in the face of a changing climate.”

Thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, FHWA is providing billions to States, Tribes, territories, and local governments for projects that will decrease air pollution and build more resilient infrastructure while supporting healthy communities. Recent FHWA announcements to combat climate change and support sustainability include:

Reducing Pollution:

  • Last week, FHWA announced the award of $148 million in grants to 16 projects in 11 states and Puerto Rico from the Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities (RTEPF) Program. The new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program aims to reduce emissions from idling trucks improving air quality for truck drivers, port workers, and communities surrounding ports. It includes investments in port electrification and efficiency improvements.
  • In April, Federal Highway Administrator Bhatt traveled to Maine and Vermont for their states’ first NEVI-funded electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
  • In March, FHWA announced the Low Carbon Transportation Materials (LCTM) Program providing $1.2 billion in funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to reduce pollution, including carbon emissions, through the use of low-embodied carbon materials and products used in construction projects. With the LCTM program and the Federal Buy Clean Initiative, the Federal Government is harnessing its procurement power to prioritize the use of American-made, lower-carbon construction materials, and support efforts to reach net zero emission by 2050.
  • In March, FHWA announced the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program making $44.5 million in funding available for projects that will strengthen safety and improve bicycling, walking and access to public transit in communities across the country. Improving active transportation networks will enable fewer and shorter car trips and support decarbonization efforts that lead to cleaner air.
  • In March, the Biden-Harris Administration released the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy. As part of the strategy, FHWA announced the designation of National EV Freight Corridors which will help expand the national EV charging network, encourage clean commerce within the freight community, and reduce emissions.

Promoting Resilience:

In April, FHWA announced nearly $830 million in grants from the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program for 80 projects nationwide to help communities strengthen transportation infrastructure to make it more resilient to natural hazards, including climate change, extreme weather, and other disasters. The first-of-its-kind program will help ensure infrastructure can withstand more frequent and extreme weather, which reduces future maintenance and reconstruction costs and protects people, homes, businesses, and supply chains from climate impacts.

  • Later this week, Federal Highway Administrator Bhatt will travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to announce a $14.2 million PROTECT award funding the rehabilitation of two historic bridges. This follows travel to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Rye, New Hampshire, announcing a combined total of $72.5 million in grant funding for projects that will reduce flooding risks, increase the resilience road and bridge infrastructure, and prevent coastal erosion from rising sea levels and severe storms.

In April, FHWA also announced the first funding opportunity for the Roadside Pollinator Program which makes available up to $10 million over the next five years to help promote the creation and protection of roadside habitats for pollinators, like bees and butterflies. Such habitats sustain the pollinator populations that are critical to supporting the nation’s food systems, agricultural economy, and natural ecosystems.

These recent announcements build upon FHWA’s continued work with states as they access more than $27 billion in formula funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law aimed directly at reducing transportation-related air pollution, including $7.5 billion from the NEVI and CFI grant programs; $7.2 billion from the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside; $6.4 billion from the Carbon Reduction Program; and additional funding for public transportation and multimodal travel options to reduce congestion and air pollution in some of the most congested metropolitan areas of the U.S.

For more information about President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, please visit FHWA’s BIL website. For more information about the Inflation Reduction Act, please visit FHWA’s IRA website.