Wednesday, April 23, 2008

MoDOT Recognized for Protecting Mother Earth

JEFFERSON CITY – When you think of environmentally friendly practices, building roads and bridges might not pop into mind. Yet the Missouri Department of Transportation is winning awards for giving back to the environment. Consider this:

· MoDOT uses more ethanol and biodiesel fuel a year - three million gallons of E-85 and B20 - than all other state agencies combined. That’s enough gas to drive a car to Mars and back.

· In 2007, MoDOT used more than three million tons of asphalt containing recycled material – about the weight of all the people in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Tennessee combined.

· In the past four years, the agency has kept more than 3.6 billion pounds of waste from going to landfills. That’s equivalent to the amount of household waste generated in a year by the entire metropolitan St. Louis area.

· MoDOT has used enough recycled tires in its construction projects over the past two years to equip 20,000 cars.

These efforts have won the agency several awards. On May 13, the Missouri Recycling Association will recognize MoDOT for its outstanding use of recycled material. PR News, a publication that serves the public relations industry, recently recognized MoDOT as an overall leader in corporate social responsibility, along with such prominent organizations as Entergy Corporation, Yahoo! Southeast Asia and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. In December 2007, the Missouri State Recycling Program recognized MoDOT’s environmental contributions with its annual state Recycling Award.

“We work hard to be everyday environmentalists,” MoDOT Director Pete Rahn said. “We diligently track the impact we have on the environment and measure the steps we’re taking to protect or restore our natural resources.”

For example, Rahn said, MoDOT keeps sensitive species and habitats in mind when designing projects. In 2007, the agency completed 15 projects that required additional work to safeguard nine protected species. MoDOT also replaced wetlands at a rate of three acres to one on projects built in 2007.

Under the Trees for Tomorrow program, MoDOT and its partner, the Missouri Department of Conservation, is providing half a million trees a year to youth groups throughout the state through 2012. The program helps replace trees taken down during highway construction.
“We’re also testing several other green initiatives,” Rahn said. “We’re seeing how soy-based paint works for highway striping and using an anti-icing agent made from sugar beets to help cut down on the amount of salt we use in the winter.”


Anonymous said...

The next bike/ped project I see MODOT initiate and/or pay for will be the first.

MODOT is great if you chose to drive an automobile.

I invite Mr. Rahn to ride with me down quite a few of his MODOT roads and cross the Missouri River with me sometime.

Grab your bike and *show me* how environmentally friendly MODOT is.

Anonymous said...

MO. in building the New 64 is currently destroying old growth trees they left standing and claimed would be protected. The trees are standing but the surrounding roots have been cut out. In addition, the promised green space has been made too small and narrow to allow for the replanting of trees they promised to replace.

MO. has also destroyed walking paths forcing more people to use cars. This will create more noise, more pollution, more traffic, more accidents,... and an unhealthy environment.

Look at what they do, not at what they say.

Anonymous said...

Are there any bike paths slated for the expansion on Woods Chapel? Such a beautiful route to the parks, don't let it be car exclusive.

Anonymous said...

it's nice that modot is reporting some of the "green" things you're doing. but you're doing it in the process of leading all of us to become even more dependent on single occupant motor vehicles, rather than giving us missourians more transportation choices. given the rising cost of motor fuels, more highways is *not* the wave of the future.