The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) invites the public to participate in a survey and also to attend virtual public meetings for the State’s Carbon Reduction Strategy on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. The meetings will be held at 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. Links to the online survey and two sessions are posted on the project website https://vtrans.vermont.gov/form/carbon-reduction-strategy.
The agency is undertaking this initiative with two primary objectives. The first is to support meeting the state’s requirements for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, including a requirement for transportation to contribute 40 percent of the overall needed reduction of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The second objective is to support federal requirements for each state to develop a Carbon Reduction Strategy pursuant to the U.S. Department of Transportation Carbon Reduction Program which provides dedicated funding for GHG-reducing transportation projects. This work includes outreach to the public and a series of focus groups, including business, freight, environmental, community, and equity-focused interests.
Based on an evaluation of the Capital Program’s projected emissions, the most recent amendments to the Vermont Low Emission Vehicle and Zero Emission Vehicle Rules, and the legislated requirements for GHG emissions reduction, there is a gap of more than 450,000 metric tons (18 percent) of carbon dioxide in 2030 and more than 200,000 metric tons (26 percent) of carbon dioxide in 2050. The Carbon Reduction Strategy aims to eliminate this gap with a combination of policies and programmatic investments including incentives for smart growth zoning, investment in electric bicycles and expanded transit service, advancing installation of sidewalks and bicycle facilities throughout the state, electrification of the commercial truck fleet, carbon management, and roadway and operational efficiencies.
“For the past year, the agency has been evaluating the effectiveness of its programs to understand the most cost-effective and equitable ways to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector,” said Michele Boomhower, Director of the Policy, Planning, and Intermodal Development Division. “It is important for the public to provide input on how these federal dollars will be spent and on other measures that will be needed to support the state’s carbon reduction requirements.”
Vermonters are encouraged to participate in an online survey to share their concerns and preferences regarding these strategies. Participants are able to preview the GHG emissions reduction and cost of several key strategies, as well as offer their perspectives.
At the virtual public meetings, attendees will learn more about the project and the process for developing the Agency’s Carbon Reduction Strategy. Members of the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to the project team about the strategies that the agency is considering to reduce transportation carbon emissions most cost-effectively and equitably. AOT values the public’s input and encourages people to share their feedback before the Carbon Reduction Strategy is finalized. The survey will close on August 1, 2023, and the document will be finalized this early fall in advance of the federal deadline. Additionally, members of the public can also provide feedback via the form on the project website.
For more information about the Agency’s Carbon Reduction Strategy, please visit https://vtrans.vermont.gov/form/carbon-reduction-strategy.