MDOT nets Federal Grants for innovative Climate Change studies

HANNOVER, MD (October 20, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Transportation has received two grants from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in transportation-related projects. The awards were announced today in Washington, DC and are part of The FHWA climate challengean initiative to explore how sustainable materials and practices could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from highway projects.

“Environmental stewardship is an essential element of MDOT’s commitment to preserving our transportation network and improving services to Marylanders,” said MDOT Secretary James F. Ports, Jr. “We appreciate that the federal government recognizes our efforts and additional Supporting research that could benefit the environment here, across the country and around the world.”

Two MDOT entities—the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) and the MDOT Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA)—received an FHWA grant totaling $312,000. The two projects have a total cost of $390,000, with MDOT providing the remainder. The projects are:

  • MDOT SHA — will Study the durability and environmental impact of products and materials used in highway projects such as e.g. asphalt and concrete. The research will help MDOT SHA establish environmental performance measures for Maryland projects and could help establish benchmarks here and in other states. The $85,000 project receives $68,000 from the grant and FHWA provides technical assistance.
  • MDOT MPA — will investigate how dredged material could be used to create vegetated earthen banks to control erosion at highway project sites in Maryland. MDOT MPA routinely removes sediment from shipping channels to keep the channels clear for seagoing vessels. The agency has a strong track record of using dredged material to restore islands and protect coastlines from erosion. This $305,000 project will help MDOT MPA determine the benefits of using dredged sediments for flood control and stormwater management on highway projects. The FHWA grant will provide $244,000.

“MDOT is taking a comprehensive approach across all of our agencies to respond to climate change and Maryland’s greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Sandy Hertz, director of MDOT’s Office of Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation. “Projects like this can benefit us and help us share knowledge and experience that can be used across the region and across the country.”

Funding for the FHWA Climate Challenge was announced as part of the Federal Buy Clean initiative to encourage the use of US-made, lower-carbon building materials in federal procurement and state-funded projects. Nationwide, 25 state departments of transportation received grants totaling $7.1 million.

A FHWA press release Announcing the grants, it said the Climate Challenge Initiative is designed to “encourage transport authorities and others to find innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.” It noted that the challenge also supports the federal government CO2 reduction program announced earlier this year. For more information, see FHWA Climate Challenge – Quantification of emissions from sustainable roadways.

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