In a significant move aimed at curbing carbon emissions from transportation, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued a new federal emissions reduction rule requiring states and urban areas to establish carbon reduction goals for their jurisdictions.
Under the new law, State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) must set carbon reduction targets and report on their progress. State DOTs are required to establish 2- and 4-year emission reduction goals, while MPO’s are required to establish 4-year goals for their planning areas. Initial State DOT targets must be formalized by February 1, 2024, which is right around the corner. These targets should encompass not only road transportation but also consider emissions from transit agencies, ferries, airports, and other relevant emitting sources State DOTs preside over. This can present a significant challenge, as setting a target without a clear roadmap for achieving it can be a daunting task, and with just a 2-year span, there are only so many levers that can be pulled to reduce transportation emissions to demonstrate progression.
One potential avenue to reduce emissions lies in reallocating highway funds to support mass transit or investing in bike and pedestrian routes. This shift could encourage commuters to opt for more sustainable modes of transportation. Experts argue that prioritizing the maintenance of existing roads over building new ones could also have a positive environmental impact, as expanding road capacity typically leads to increased driving and, thus, increased emissions.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) includes various programs and financial provisions, such as $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a $6.4 billion fund for emissions-reducing projects, and $5 billion for electric or low-emission buses that can help states meet their emissions reduction targets.
The Biden Administration’s commitment to environmental goals remains firm, and while this new rule is poised for legal challenges, proponents are confident that it will ultimately prevail. As states grapple with the impending deadline for setting emission reduction targets, collaboration and innovation will be key to achieving meaningful progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
How Mansfield Can Help States Tackle the New FHWA Emissions Reduction Rule
Amid the challenges posed by the new Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) emissions reduction rule, Mansfield Energy can offer the support states are looking for in their efforts to meet these ambitious targets. The following are three examples of how Mansfield can help states reduce their emissions and tackle the new rule.
- Conduct a pilot or case study: Mansfield offers invaluable assistance by conducting a comprehensive assessment of possible emissions reduction measures. This analysis helps quantify the benefits associated with adopting the use of biofuels, such as Renewable Diesel, and weighing alternative solutions. By effectively comparing economics to emission reduction impact, Mansfield assists states in making informed decisions that promote the implementation of sustainable and fiscally responsible actions.
- Supply Renewable Diesel: Renewable Diesel has several benefits; it burns cleaner than fossil diesel, combusts more efficiently, and provides up to 70% fewer lifecycle CO2 emissions. Renewable Diesel meets the exact specifications of fossil diesel, ASTM D975, but is produced from renewable raw materials, which means it’s a drop-in replacement fuel that reduces Scope 1 emissions and harmful pollutants. Renewable Diesel can also help fleets reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) through longer service and maintenance intervals, equating to overall lower operating costs.
- Provide Emissions Reporting Data: Mansfield assists states in complying with the emissions reporting requirements mandated by the FHWA. Accurate and comprehensive reporting is crucial to demonstrate progress toward achieving emission reduction goals. With Mansfield, states will have the necessary data and reporting mechanisms in place to meet FHWA’s reporting standards.
Trust Mansfield’s team of sustainability experts to stay well-informed on regulations and contact our team today to discover how we can simplify the complexities of managing diverse requirements, ensuring your business remains compliant across every state. Say goodbye to guesswork and hello to precision energy (and emissions) management with Mansfield. Contact us today!