Successful Practices in Tracking and Implementing Environmental Commitments

State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other transportation agencies routinely establish formal and informal commitments to specific environmental avoidance and mitigation techniques as part of project planning and design under the National Environmental Policy Act and related federal and state laws and regulations. Federal agencies and state DOTs are responsible for ensuring these legally binding commitments are implemented throughout the life of a project and ultimately fulfilled. Proper implementation of environmental commitments affect all phases of project delivery including planning, design, construction, and post construction. Tracking environmental commitments is considered the main tool for ensuring specific commitments are implemented. However, the quality of the tracking is dependent on the tracking system that exists and the individuals responsible for following that system. Reaching an environmental commitment often is done openly and transparently and creates a public expectation it will be met. Yet, DOTs nationwide face challenges in the successful management and implementation of such commitments. Common challenges include language differences in memorandums of agreement or understanding, and the need to ensure that commitments are incorporated into appropriate design and construction tracking. State DOTs have started developing resources and practices to minimize these challenges and ensure quality control and proper implementation, but no nationwide summary of these approaches exist. The objective of this research is to produce a compendium of formal (e.g., digital tracking applications, DOT standards, handbooks, environmental plan sheets, punch lists) and less formal (e.g., pre-construction meetings, on-site inspections) environmental commitment processes and documentation used by state DOTs, successfully adopted practices in standard environmental specifications, and suggestions for improving the overall systems adopted by DOTs for meeting environmental commitments.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 25-68

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Weeks, Jennifer

  • Start Date: 20220607
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01846748
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 25-68
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 24 2022 10:57AM