About the project
Advanced mitigation is of growing interest to transportation agencies because it allows them to reduce costs and lessen project delays by meeting environmental requirements for multiple projects early during project planning. Research and advocacy supporting dedicated advanced mitigation funding for transportation projects are growing increasingly influential in transportation planning and policy, as it often results in time and cost savings through economies of scale that expedite project delivery and increases certainty in the transportation planning process. Large-scale advanced mitigation also provides superior ecological outcomes.
Advanced mitigation planning has been a feature of transportation agency policy guidelines for some time, but increased funding and relaxed restrictions on uses of existing funding has recently removed roadblocks to successful implementation of such programs. California’s SB 1, enacted in April 2017, creates an Advanced Mitigation Program (AMP) and dedicates at least $30 million annually for four years to the planning and implementation of AMP projects, allowing internal flexibility to address mitigation requirements. Funding may be used for specific projects or larger, more comprehensive mitigation programs. AMP guidelines are currently being developed with input from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and CDFW is promoting language that specifically allows for AMP funding to be used integrating transportation planning into existing conservation initiatives such as Habitat Conservation Plans.
Inclusion of the AMP funding in SB1 is a clear success for proponents of advanced mitigation from both the transportation planning and environmental sciences, which must now grapple with the tough question of policy implementation. This study will apply previous research to support and advise the state on AMP, which will shape state investment over the coming years, and will likely provide the blueprint for future efforts statewide and nationwide.
Working on this project: Martin Wachs, Jaimee Lederman