Thursday, March 21, 2013

Will Global Warming Have To Be Considered Before Approving Major Projects?

Since 1970, the National Environmental Protection Act has required federal agencies to consider the impacts of their projects on air, water, and soil pollution — but not on climate change.

One of the services we do here at SRTC is air quality monitoring, analysis and modeling. Projects under consideration for funding are analyzed to ensure they won't add to air quality issues, such as by forcing more cars to idle in one spot.

Until recently, carbon dioxide, which causes global warning, wasn’t classified as a pollutant and so couldn’t be regulated under environmental laws. Well, it sounds like President Obama is about to change all that, with an impending announcement that all federal agencies will have to consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.”

While SRTC isn't a federal agency, some of the funding we distribute to local jurisdictions to construct transportation projects comes from federal sources, meaning major projects like the North Spokane Corridor could be impacted.
So does this mean no more highways? DC Streetsblog takes a look at the implications.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.