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Committee ADC60 Research

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee ADC60 on Resource Conservation and Recovery (Committee) is dedicated to formulating, promoting and sharing the latest knowledge, expertise, and experience in development and integration of proactive environmental management systems and sustainability concepts into transportation programs to support the transportation industry’s evolution from a solid and hazardous waste remediation and management approach to a resource efficiency approach. Committee Members and Friends represent Academia, Transportation Authorities, State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Transportation Consultants, all with a vested interest in advancing the ideals of the Committee into realized outcomes. The Committee focuses on systems-based solutions and research associated with resource efficiency-and contamination-related technical areas such as toxic and hazardous materials tracking, pollution prevention, product substitution and green designs, recycling and reuse of materials, advances in environmental site assessment technologies and methodologies, and brown fields programs and alternative uses of the right of way.

Specific and measurable goals of the Committee include:

  • Identify, mentor, monitor and report research on innovative resource utilization practices that positively impact environmental, economic and social resources.
  • Identify innovative and implementable technologies for transportation project applications.
  • Disseminate to state DOTs and other agencies information on cost-effective sustainability action implementation.
  • Maintain recognition by the TRB as an innovation leader that promotes the identification, development, and application of sustainability concepts for utilization of transport properties.

The TRB is a division of the National Research Council, which serves as an independent adviser to the federal government and others on scientific and technical questions of national importance. The National Research Council is jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The mission of the TRB – one of six major divisions of the National Research Council – is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. In an objective and interdisciplinary setting, the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy by researchers and practitioners; stimulates research and offers research management services that promote technical excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs, and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation.


Provided below are research topics of continued interest to the Committee. These topics include emerging technologies and ideas as well as fresh looks at established systems, processes, methods and materials. Topics collectively represent timely issues our transportation agencies and authorities manage on a regular basis or that could enhance their existing operations with validation and direction from independent research:

Environmental Stormwater Issues

  • Implications of FHWA stormwater construction standard changes
  • Guidance for managing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) in roadway operations

Promoting Recycled Material

  • Barriers to using recycled materials
  • Cost-effectiveness of sustainability actions
  • Implementing green procurement
  • Integrating sustainable practices specs into DOT contracts
  • Summary of DOT specifications for recycling and reuse

Right-of-Way and Construction Area Ecosystems

  • Landscaping and living highway barriers
  • Promoting pollinator population in Right-of-Way (ROW)
  • Wildlife enhancement & accommodation in ROW
  • Seed mixes to promote native plant establishment
  • Vegetation to remove emissions related air pollution
  • Revegetation challenges
  • Types of compost for erosion control and plant revegetation

Climate Change Impacts

  • Green House Gas (GHG) information gap for transit station with respect to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Highway Management planning for climate change impacts

Environmental Impact of Winter Maintenance

  • Chemical deicing risk management

Other Environmental Research Ideas

  • Feasibility study for sustainable rest areas
  • Use of unmanned aerial vehicles in environmental applications

Completed Research Need Statements

  • Living Snow Fencing Applications for Departments of Transportation Right of Way Area
    Date Posted: 12/20/2016
  • Environmental Management System Guidance Document
    Date Posted: 12/20/2016
  • Environmental Impact and Life-Cycle Analysis of Winter Roadway Abrasives
    Date Posted: 12/19/2016
  • Guidance Document to Identify and Minimize the Impact of PCBs and Metals in Paint
    Date Posted: 12/19/2016
  • Emerging Worker Safety Concerns Associated with the Recycling of Fly Ash from Coal-Fired Power Plant in Concrete Mixtures
    Date Posted: 1/11/2013
  • Water Conservation Practices for Highway Transportation Construction and Road Operations and Facility Management
    Date Posted: 3/6/2012

Interested in doing research?

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