Integrating Sustainability Elements into the Transportation Alternative Analysis in a Third World Country, Liberia

Art Hirsch - Sunday, October 20, 2013

A few months ago TerraLogic was hired by a consulting firm (Eurasia Environmental Associates, LLC) to provide sustainability consulting support for a transportation project located in Liberia. The Country of Liberia is expecting to get funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve their transportation system with a focus on increased movement of goods and services. The poor conditions of the Liberian road system are significantly affecting the movement of agricultural goods to markets resulting in continuing negative economic and social impacts on the country.  Read More

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Natural Resource Impact Cost Models and Envision Training

Art Hirsch - Tuesday, July 09, 2013

It has been a while since my last blog much to my regret. My purpose behind developing the blogs is to identify important and new developments in the sustainability field that I hope my readers will find interesting and helpful. This month’s blog is about a sustainability-based economic model presented at an American Public Works Association (APWA) Conference and discussions conducted during the latest Envision Verifier Training Class. Read More

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Is the ISI Envision Sustainability Rating Tool Applicable for Transportation Projects?

Art Hirsch - Wednesday, January 09, 2013

There is a relatively new infrastructure sustainability rating tool that has been released by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) called Envision. The rating system was released in January, 2012 and started accepting ISI certification applications in September, 2012. Unlike most rating systems that are specific to buildings and transportation systems, the Envision Sustainability Rating Program has been developed to integrate sustainability into all types of infrastructure projects such as airports, pipelines, drainage projects, land developments, mining operations, etc. (except buildings). The Envision Rating Program has a unique rating system that is a holistic-systems-based approach that rates and scores projects in terms of “levels of achievement” toward obtaining resource enhancement and restoration (highest levels), as oppose to the simplistic yes/no rating system checklist used by other sustainability rating systems. Read More

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MAP-21 An Opportunity for FHWA to Bring Sustainability to the Forefront

Art Hirsch - Sunday, October 21, 2012

On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law P.L. 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Funding surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years (FY) 2013 and 2014, MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization enacted since 2005.  Read More

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Sustainability Based Contracting

Art Hirsch - Friday, July 27, 2012

One of the challenges in developing a sustainability program is not the identification of sustainable actions or rating system criteria. There is a lot of literature and information developed by Departments of Transportation (DOTs), consultants and institutes on sustainable actions and performance measures that can be used as sustainability tools. The challenge lies in how sustainable actions can actually be implemented within a state or municipal DOT organization.  Read More

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Climate Change Adaption for Sustainable Transportation Systems

Art Hirsch - Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Global warming comes with a big price tag for every country in the world. The 80 percent reduction in U.S. emissions needed to stop climate change may not come cheaply, but the cost of failing to act will be much greater. New research shows that if present trends continue, the total cost of global warming will be as high as 3.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Four global warming impacts alone -- hurricane damage, real estate losses, energy costs, and water costs -- will come with a price tag of 1.8 percent of U.S. GDP, or almost $1.9 trillion annually (in today's dollars) by 2100 (1).  Read More

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The Development of Cost Effective Sustainability Programs and Rating Systems

Art Hirsch - Friday, March 09, 2012

Is developing a transportation sustainability program and establishing project level best practices (criteria) cost effective?

This question is one of the reasons why sustainability programs have not been well adopted and endorsed by many transportation management, engineering and maintenance representatives at the federal, state and local level and transportation lending institutions. Sustainability-cost effectiveness is an area that has not been well articulated to upper management and key decision makers.
The bottom-line is that many of the transportation decision makers do not care or see the value of sustainable elements, such as environmental habitat enhancement, unless there is a cost savings or perceived value. It is a challenge to put a cost toward increasing lynx mobility via sub-grade animal crossings or avoidance of species habitat. Read More

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The Lack of Infrastructure Funding for Highway Maintenance and Enhancement

Art Hirsch - Monday, February 06, 2012

Why is it that the general public who use the federal and state highway transportation system are unwilling to invest in maintaining their current infrastructure system? Why is there so little political leadership to address this critical issue?  Read More

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FHWA Every Day Counts Initiatives and a Summary of Innovative Sustainable Actions

Art Hirsch - Monday, December 05, 2011

One of the many challenges facing federal state and local transportation agencies developing sustainable "green highway systems" is the lack of research and the subsequent adoption as inclusions in design/contractor specifications. If new sustainability based actions are to be realized on highways, new approaches and technologies need to be tested, proven and adopted by DOTs. A menu of sustainability based specifications needs to be provided to transportation designers, contractors and operation/maintenance professionals to improve implementation timing.  Read More

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Watershed-Ecosystem Based Approaches for Post-Construction Stormwater Management Along Highway Corridors

Art Hirsch - Sunday, November 06, 2011

Many state, county and municipal departments of transportation (DOTs) are spending significant amounts of financial resources on stormwater management; especially for the Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) Permit requirements for post-construction best management practices. Is this really an environmentally and financially sound approach to protect water quality? Read More

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TerraLogic Blog

Recent Posts

  1. Integrating Sustainability Elements into the Transportation Alternative Analysis in a Third World Country, Liberia Art Hirsch 20-Oct-2013
  2. Natural Resource Impact Cost Models and Envision Training Art Hirsch 09-Jul-2013
  3. Is the ISI Envision Sustainability Rating Tool Applicable for Transportation Projects? Art Hirsch 09-Jan-2013
  4. MAP-21 An Opportunity for FHWA to Bring Sustainability to the Forefront Art Hirsch 21-Oct-2012
  5. Sustainability Based Contracting Art Hirsch 27-Jul-2012
  6. Climate Change Adaption for Sustainable Transportation Systems Art Hirsch 25-Apr-2012
  7. The Development of Cost Effective Sustainability Programs and Rating Systems Art Hirsch 09-Mar-2012
  8. The Lack of Infrastructure Funding for Highway Maintenance and Enhancement Art Hirsch 06-Feb-2012
  9. FHWA Every Day Counts Initiatives and a Summary of Innovative Sustainable Actions Art Hirsch 05-Dec-2011
  10. Watershed-Ecosystem Based Approaches for Post-Construction Stormwater Management Along Highway Corridors Art Hirsch 06-Nov-2011
  11. Summary of the 2011 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Waste Management & Resource Efficiency Committee Workshop Art Hirsch 06-Sep-2011
  12. Summary of Transportation Sustainability Rating System Programs Art Hirsch 12-Jul-2011
  13. Sustainability in the Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Process Art Hirsch 12-Jun-2011
  14. The Use of DOT Right of Ways for Alternative Energy Generation Art Hirsch 09-May-2011
  15. Sustainable Actions Associated with Highway Operation and Maintenance Art Hirsch 07-Apr-2011
  16. The Incorporation of Sustainability Requirements into Designer and Contractor Contracts Art Hirsch 28-Feb-2011
  17. Sustainable Winter Highway Maintenance Art Hirsch 28-Jan-2011
  18. Living Snow Fences within Highway Corridors Art Hirsch 04-Jan-2011
  19. Climate Change Risks to Transportation Systems Art Hirsch 29-Nov-2010
  20. Stormwater Art Hirsch 20-Oct-2010

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