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D-1 APPENDIX D. STRATEGIC PLAN FOR MODEL OWNERSHIP AND FUNDING This section offers a concept for an intra/interagency forum to guide the development of a multimodal noise and emissions model. The concept is written in the form of the strategic plans issued annually by the U.S.DOT. Ownership and Funding Strategy for the Multimodal Noise and Emissions Model Outcomes 1. Formalized federal ownership of the multimodal noise and emissions model. 2. Model research and development (R&D) funding stream based on modal agency subsidies. 3. Contributing to a more streamlined environmental review of transportation infrastructure projects. Strategies The development of a multimodal noise and emissions model contributes to the U.S.DOT environmental stewardship goal to âpromote transportation solutions that enhance communities and protect the natural and built environment.â The multimodal environmental model could also assist in overcoming some of the obstacles to achieving the U.S.DOT environmental stewardship goal. The DOT Strategic Plan (âNew Ideas for a Nation on the Move,â FY2006-2011, September 2006) identified high infrastructure project cost, localized opposition to new transportation projects, and the stovepipe organizational structure of public transportation agencies as impediments to efficient intermodal connections in the U.S. The Plan states: âIf this situation persists, intermodal congestion, which increases air pollution from transportation sources, will get worse.â The introduction of a multimodal environmental model as part of the federal environmental analysis and mitigation process could serve as a vehicle for greater collaboration among the various federal, state, and regional transportation agencies. The collaboration should help break through the stovepipe organizational structure leading to an integrated approach to the environmental assessment of intermodal projects. However, nothing can happen until the model sponsor(s) steps forward. ACRP Project 02-09 has created a Model Development Plan (MDP) that does not have clear ownershipâi.e., designation of the federal agency that takes responsibility for the model development. Therefore, it is necessary to describe the possible mechanisms for federal ownership and identify potential sources of funding and alternatives for model builds to address existing constraints and funding limitations. The multimodal noise and emissions model seems a good fit to the DOT mission, which is to âserve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.â The Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse (TCCC) provides a blueprint for the establishment of a structure for the coordinated development of a multimodal environmental model and all related research, policies, and procedures. As a result, it would be desirable to coordinate with other federal agencies with related technical and policy responsibilities, such as, the Department of Defense (DoD), the
D-2 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Resources Successful development of a multimodal noise and emissions model begins with federal sponsorship. The following agencies and offices are vital to the effort: ï§ The Office of the Secretary (OST) is well positioned to provide overall leadership of the model development as part of its oversight role in the formulation of national transportation policy and promotion intermodal transportation. ï§ The Research & Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) serves as the DOT focal point for coordinating, facilitating and reviewing crosscutting and cross-modal research, and for enabling new technology deployment across all modes. ï§ Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the DOD modal administrations, FAA, FHWA, FRA, FTA, and MARAD; are responsible for the assessment of the environmental impacts associated with transportation projects under their purview. Each of these agencies has implemented procedures for the conduct of environmental assessment including the models to use. To varying degrees, these agencies support the development of environmental models. ï§ Like the DOT modal agencies, DoD is responsible for the assessment of the environmental impacts associated with its activities. Each of the armed services has implemented procedures for the conduct of environmental assessment including the models to use. DOD supports the development of environmental models including advances in certain noise modeling technologies that are deemed vital to the future development of the multimodal model. ï§ EPA protects public health and the environment by regulating air pollution from motor vehicles, engines, and the fuels used to operate them. The agency also promotes emission modeling activities through the distribution of emissions model input formatted inventories and provides leadership on the selection and use of models in regulatory settings through national modeling guidance. ï§ As part of its mission to provide decent housing and safe living environment for all, HUD has implemented guidelines for the consideration of environmental impacts related to its projects. For example, the Noise Assessment Guidelines describes procedures to assess the exposure of a housing site to present and future noise conditions. The Guidelines offers a rudimentary multimodal noise assessment capability as it provides a means to assess separately airport, road, and rail operations as well as combining the noise exposures for an overall noise assessment. The prototype for the framework for both intra- and inter-agency coordination is the TCCC mentioned above. Figure D-1 shows how TCCC is organized. The TCCC has become the focal point within DOT for information and technical expertise on transportation and climate change and for the promotion of comprehensive multimodal approaches to reduce GHG emissions. Borrowing heavily from the TCCC Strategic Plan (The DOT Center for Climate Change & Environmental forecasting â Strategic Plan, 2006-2010), the DOT Center on Multimodal Noise & Emissions Modeling would have the following strategies: ï§ Research and Policy Analysis: Leverage ongoing DOT research and act as a catalyst for development of the multimodal model through partnerships with other agencies and research entities.
D-3 ï§ Integrated Approaches and Mutual Benefits: Encourage decision-makers to take integrated approaches to multimodal environmental assessments that recognize mutual benefits. ï§ State and Local Transportation Planning: Focus on inter- and multimodal transportation initiatives with state and local transportation planning agencies through outreach, capacity building, and other collaboration. ï§ Communication, Education, and Capacity Building: Improve communication and educate transportation decision-makers, disseminating information and tools to increase their ability to address multimodal environmental issues. Figure D-1. The Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting: A USDOT-Wide Center Source: The DOT Center for Climate Change & Environmental forecasting â Strategic Plan, 2006-2010 Like TCC, the new Multimodal Center is a DOT-wide organization with membership from 6 operating administrations (FAA, FHWA, FRA, FTA, MARAD, and RITA), the Office of the Secretary (OST), and from DoD, EPA, and HUD. The U.S.DOT operating administrations support the Center's work through contributions of funds, staff, and technical expertise, and by participating in Center efforts to share information, build partnerships, and coordinate cross- modal activities. A Steering Committee of senior executives from each of the member internal and external organizations leads the Center and approves action plans and spending. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy and RITA would co-chair the Steering Committee in light of their respective responsibilities to coordinate multimodal activities. Core team members provide staff-level participation from each administration and are responsible for the operations of the Center. Strategic planning and other support would come from the RITA
D-4 Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center) drawing on its extensive experience in transportation noise and emissions modeling. Also like TCCC, the Center would partner with TRB on strategies for the development and use of the multimodal model. For example, the clearinghouse component of the TCCC was developed as part of an NCHRP project (NCHRP 25-25 (44)), which was co-funded by FHWA, to serve as a âone-stopâ source of information for the transportation community on transportation and climate change issues. One of the byproducts of the ACRP Project 02-09 is the preparation of a problem statement to develop a prototype of the multimodal model under a future ACRP project. External Factors The major challenges to obtain stable level of funding for the development of the multimodal model are: 1. Federal budget process 2. Level of interest among the modal administrations 3. Disparities in the size of research budgets among the modal administrations 4. Stovepipe culture of federal agencies The problem is further complicated by the fact that these challenges intertwine. For example, while one or more agencies might make a multimodal model a high priority, federal research funding is at the mercy of the annual Congressional budget process, which is subject to shifts in priorities. One mechanism used by federal agencies to achieve an appropriate level of research funding is through the reauthorization of the federal spending legislation. For example, the federal surface transportation spending legislation, Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act â A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), expired in 2009. It took Congress 2 years to enact SAFETEA-LU during which the administration operated under extensions of the previous spending authority. However, it is unlikely that interested agencies could act on the suggestions of this strategy paper in time for this next reauthorization; thus, making this a more long-term action item. The initial formation of the DOT Center on Multimodal Noise & Emissions Modeling should produce ways to gauge the interest among the agencies through their actions to identify executives to serve on the steering committee and to commit resources (staff and initial funding). Some of the modal agencies might be more motivated than others in the new endeavor. For example, the FAA 2011 Budget submission now includes an Environment and Energy Research goal to initiate development of environmental models components to enable intermodal analyses (pg. RE&D-137, USDOT Budget Estimates, Fiscal Year 2011 â Federal Aviation Administration). While this is an FAA goal for 2015, the agency could begin building the interagency framework for the effort with a modest investment in the intervening years.