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Bernie Wagenblast

Interviews with transportation newsmakers by transportation journalist Bernie Wagenblast.

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Pennsylvania’s New Statewide Anti-Litter Program
Yesterday
Pennsylvania’s New Statewide Anti-Litter Program
This episode of the Environmental Technical Assistance Program or ETAP Podcast interviews Yassmin Gramian and Natasha Fackler, secretary and infrastructure implementation coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, respectively, about the state’s new anti-littering program.PennDOT helped launch the new program – formally entitled “PA Fights Dirty: Every Litter Bit Matters” – in August along with several other state agencies.The creation of this campaign is one of the many recommendations made by Pennsylvania’s first-ever Litter Action Plan, released in December 2021. That plan also won a Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for Excellence in May.“Every Litter Bit Matters” seeks to get state residents to ensure that every piece of their trash, regardless of size, is disposed of properly as research shows only 3 percent of Pennsylvanians approve of littering, yet 40 to 50 percent of them admit to littering roadways and other public areas.“Every Litter Bit Matters” also seeks to educate state residents about “situational littering,” such as leaving trash on the ground next to a full can or in a stadium, as well as reminding them that litter of all sizes stacks up and creates problems, Gramian and Frackler explained.PennDOT noted that a 2019 Litter Research Study found that Pennsylvania has more than 500 million pieces of litter on its roadways, with more than 85 percent of those pieces measuring less than four inches in size. That study also found that litter-related cleanup costs currently total around $350 million each year.
Pennsylvania’s New Statewide Anti-Litter Program
Yesterday
Pennsylvania’s New Statewide Anti-Litter Program
This episode of the Environmental Technical Assistance Program or ETAP Podcast interviews Yassmin Gramian and Natasha Fackler, secretary and infrastructure implementation coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, respectively, about the state’s new anti-littering program.PennDOT helped launch the new program – formally entitled “PA Fights Dirty: Every Litter Bit Matters” – in August along with several other state agencies.The creation of this campaign is one of the many recommendations made by Pennsylvania’s first-ever Litter Action Plan, released in December 2021. That plan also won a Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for Excellence in May.“Every Litter Bit Matters” seeks to get state residents to ensure that every piece of their trash, regardless of size, is disposed of properly as research shows only 3 percent of Pennsylvanians approve of littering, yet 40 to 50 percent of them admit to littering roadways and other public areas.“Every Litter Bit Matters” also seeks to educate state residents about “situational littering,” such as leaving trash on the ground next to a full can or in a stadium, as well as reminding them that litter of all sizes stacks up and creates problems, Gramian and Frackler explained.PennDOT noted that a 2019 Litter Research Study found that Pennsylvania has more than 500 million pieces of litter on its roadways, with more than 85 percent of those pieces measuring less than four inches in size. That study also found that litter-related cleanup costs currently total around $350 million each year.
Next Generation Highways
1w ago
Next Generation Highways
In this episode of the Environmental Technical Assistance Program or ETAP Podcast, Jessica Oh – strategic partnerships director in the sustainability and public health office within the Minnesota Department of Transportation – discusses the “next generation highway” her agency is studying.EPISODE NOTESThe Ray and consulting firm NGI released the NextGen Highways Feasibility Study for Minnesota DOT in April; a study that examined strategies for “co-locating” electric and communications infrastructure in highway rights-of-way or ROWs.The study focused on the potential deployment of buried, high-voltage/direct current or HVDC transmission lines within Minnesota interstate and highway ROWs – an effort that offers broader implications for highway ROW strategies in other states.In April 2021, the Federal Highway Administration released guidance clarifying the highway ROW “can be leveraged by state DOTs for pressing public needs relating to climate change, equitable communications access, and energy reliability.”Projects listed include renewable energy generation, electrical transmission and distribution projects, broadband projects, vegetation management, inductive charging in travel lanes, and alternative fueling facilities, among others.“At the heart of this study is the need to examine the energy transmission infrastructure we will need in order to electrify our transportation network; part of a broader effort to decarbonize the U.S. economy,” Oh explained during the podcast.“The concept we’re evaluating looked specifically at burying [electric power] transmission lines in the highway ROW,” she noted. “Only three states allow for that now. Yet the use of existing distributed ROW could contain the visual impact of expanding our electric grid while lessening the need to acquire more land to support more transmission.”Building transmission capacity in existing highway ROW could also reduce project-siting timelines by seven to 10 years, Oh added, while reducing the need to work with hundreds of landowners on a project down to dealing with a single state department of transportation.“There is a great benefit for communities if they allow transmission capacity to be built in the highway ROW,” she emphasized.Other partners on the project include, Satterfield Consulting, Great Plains Institute, 5 Lakes Energy and Tracy Warren.