The National Academies

NCHRP 20-28 [Completed]

Hazardous Wastes in Highway Rights-of-Way

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Research Agency: Transportation Research Board
Principal Investigator: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Mark R. Dayton
Effective Date: 4/16/1990
Completion Date: 9/30/1993

Whether involved with a new highway project or the improvement of an existing project, state departments of transportation are encountering hazardous waste sites in highway rights-of-way with increasing frequency. Although more and more states have gained considerable experience on a case-by-case basis and a few have developed overall programs, state transportation officials can still benefit from better awareness of the regulatory and technical issues and from improvements to overall programs for dealing with expected or unexpected discovery of hazardous waste during land acquisition, project development, and construction.

Because of the possible policy implications, the project was assigned to the Special Studies Division of the Transportation Research Board. This Special Studies Division performs transportation policy studies as a unit of the National Research Council (NRC). Accordingly, an NRC study committee was assembled that included experts in highway design and construction, hazardous waste remediation, environmental law, environmental health, and public policy. The committee was charged with developing the recommended guidance by building on past NCHRP research---the results of which were published in NCHRP Report 310, "Dealing with Hazardous Waste Sites"---and on material from the Federal Highway Administration's National Highway Institute.

The study was conducted by examining a number of case studies of problems encountered by state departments of transportation. Drawing on these findings and the experience and expertise of its members, the committee has provided guidance to state transportation officials on managing hazardous waste-site problems. The final committee report has been published as NCHRP Report 351, "Hazardous Wastes in Highway Rights-of-Way."

Appendix B, "State Documents That Describe Hazardous Waste Policies and Procedures," comprises some 970 pages and is not published in the NCHRP report. Copies of Appendix B were distributed to all NCHRP sponsors along with the published report. Others may obtain copies of Appendix B on loan or for purchase.

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