December 18, 2015
Transportation Improvement Program Greenhouse Gas Assessment and
Reporting Guidance document release
1. This memo describes the purpose for, and process of, developing Metropolitan Planning
Organization (MPO) guidance for assessing and reporting the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts
of Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs).
2. MassDOT and the Commonwealth’s MPOs have been assessing and publishing Transportation
Improvement Plans’/State Transportation Improvement Programs’ (TIP/STIP) GHG impacts
since the 2013-2016 STIP process in an effort to better understand how project programming
and funding decisions increase or decrease transportation sector GHG emissions.
3. In January 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection promulgated 310
CMR 60.05: Global Warming Solutions Act Requirements for the Transportation Sector and the
Massachusetts Department of Transportation (the “GreenDOT Regulation”), a legal
reinforcement of the GHG assessment and reporting work that MassDOT and the MPOs have
been doing since 2012.
Purpose of Guidance Document
4. The purpose of the guidance document is to assist MPOs in meeting their regulatory
requirements under the GreenDOT Regulation around the assessment and reporting of TIP
project GHG impacts. GHG assessment and reporting will help satisfy MPOs’ requirement to
use GHG impacts as an evaluation criterion for project prioritization.
5. The guidance document will also improve compliance with the GreenDOT Regulation by
creating consistency in assessment and reporting across all MPOs, allowing MassDOT to
evaluate the total GHG impact of the STIP on a yearly basis and measure those impacts against
the reduction goals set out in the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) process.
Development of Guidance Document
6. A review of 2016-2019 STIP GHG impact reporting identified several areas that could benefit
from detailed guidance to improve data quality and consistency. The guidelines presented in the
document provide standard methodologies to address these issues.
7. MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning staff hosted a webinar introducing the new
guidelines and provided a draft of the guidance document to MPOs for review and comment.
MassDOT considered MPO comments while drafting of the final document.
The guidance document was finalized in December 2015.
Application and Next Steps
9. These guidelines and associated changes to the TIP Template will apply to the 2017-2021 STIP
development process and are to be used going forward until replaced by updated guidance.
10. MassDOT will supply MPOs with the tools necessary to follow the document guidelines,
including CMAQ spreadsheets and a spreadsheet of emissions factors for assessing project
GHG impacts for specific project types and the TIP Template to facilitate consistent GHG impact
reporting. These tools will be sent to MPOs each January for use in that year’s development
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