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The National Academies

NCHRP 08-36/Task 19 [Completed]

Transportation Environmental Research Needs Conference
[ NCHRP 08-36 (Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning) ]

  Project Data
Funds: 50000
Research Agency: TRB Division A
Principal Investigator: Kimberly Fisher
Effective Date: 3/1/2001
Completion Date: 9/30/2002
Comments: Completed---Published as TRB Conference Proceedings 28


Implementation of State DOT transportation plans and programs requires satisfaction of complex state and federal environmental regulations. This, in turn, requires development and use of analytic tools and procedures. Research is needed to respond to new or changed environmental rules and planning trends/perspectives, to employ new technologies, and to develop the means to perform environmental work more quickly, more effectively, and at lower cost. The fifty implementing states face environmental challenges that are in some cases similar and other cases unique to a few states. Each state has its own transportation research program, as does the federal government and many of the large universities. Periodically, it is important to conduct a national assessment of what transportation environmental research is underway or completed, and what are the needs for current and future research.

In 1991 and again in 1996, a national Transportation Environmental Research Needs Conference was conducted. Each of these conferences brought together environmental specialist to work in small groups and discuss and draft new research needs statements responding to current high priority needs. The 1996 conference produced over 90 detailed research needs statements in 13 topic areas. This was published as TRB Circular 469. Many of these statements have subsequently been implemented and put into practice. AASHTO's Standing Committee on Environment has found Circular 469 to be especially helpful for recommending research to the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.

It is proposed to plan and conduct the third Transportation Research Needs Conference in March, 2002. The major steps are (1) convene conference steering committee; (2) survey research completed since 1996 to determine the current state of knowledge; (3) conduct a national call for research needs statements; (4) write background papers for topic areas; (5) convene approximately 120 transportation environmental specialists and some planning representation (full travel costs are paid for one person from each state DOT); (6) Discuss and draft new research needs statements; and (7) publish the findings.

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