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Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency (2018)

Chapter: Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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73 Federal Guidance on Climate Change Climate change is affecting the U.S. Department of Transportation’s strategic goals of safety, state of good repair, and environmental sustainability. Climate change affects day-to-day operations, short and long term planning, and costs to run and build a transit system. As a result, and in response to Executive Orders No. 13514 and 13652 and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), US DOT Climate Adaptation Plan 2014 Ensuring Transporta- tion Infrastructure and System Resilience was prepared. U.S. DOT’s Adaptation Plan recognizes that climate change—including higher temperatures, increased atmospheric water vapor, rising sea levels, and the frequency of extreme weather events—is already occurring and is expected to continue in the future. The Plan also recognizes that the Third National Climate Assessment concludes that these changes are a result of increased levels of greenhouse gases emitted from human activity over the past 50 years.1 The report also lists Notable Potential Impacts of climate change on transit: • More frequent/severe flooding of underground tunnels and low-lying infrastructure, requiring drainage and pumping, due to more intense precipitation, sea level rise, and storm surge. • Increased numbers and magnitude of storm surges and/or relative sea level rise may potentially shorten infrastructure life. • Increased thermal expansion of paved surfaces, potentially causing degradation and reduced service life, due to higher temperatures and increased duration of heat waves. • Higher maintenance/construction costs due to increased temperatures or exposure to storm surge. • Asphalt degradation and shorter replacement cycles, leading to limited access, congestion, and higher costs, due to higher temperatures. • Culvert and drainage infrastructure damage due to changes in precipitation intensity or snow melt timing. • Decreased driver/operator performance and decision-making skills due to driver fatigue as a result of adverse weather. • Increased risk of vehicle crashes in severe weather. • System downtime, derailments, and slower travel times due to buckling during extremely hot days. • Restricted access to local economies and public transportation. A P P E N D I X E Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance 1https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/2014-%20DOT-Climate-Adaptation-Plan.pdf (p. 6)

74 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency Federal Guidance on Resiliency Planning for Severe Weather Conditions In response to extreme weather conditions, resiliency is an issue that is increasingly being recognized within the mass transit industry—especially in the past few years as severe weather events have become more frequent and intense. While a relatively new area of focus in the mass transit industry, the reports cited in this document reference and provide comprehensive details on the resiliency work that has been done nationally. It also provides background on the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) rebuilding and recovery efforts under FTA 49 CFR Part 602 (Docket No. FTA–2013–004), Emergency Relief Program (March 29, 2013) that was issued in response to Hurricane Sandy to support proposed resiliency plans. Current Practices to Incorporate Resiliency into Infrastructure Relevant Federal Criteria The FTA has defined resiliency as “a capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy, and the environment.” Further, the FTA defines resiliency projects as “projects designed and built to address future vulnerabilities to the public transportation facility or system due to future recurrence of emergencies or major disasters that are likely to occur again in the geographic area in which the public transportation system is located: or projected changes in development patterns, demographics, or extreme weather or other climate patterns.”2 In identifying and prioritizing projects for funding under “Second Allocation of Pub- lic Transportation Emergency Relief Funds in Response to Hurricane Sandy: Response, Recovery & Resiliency,” the FTA stipulated the consideration of the following criteria at a minimum:3 • The identification of and assessment of the reasonable likelihood of a potential hazard or disaster; • The vulnerability of a particular system or asset to a particular hazard or disaster, and the criticality of that asset to the overall performance of the transit system; • The potential extent of damage to the asset or system from the identified hazard(s); • The total cost of implementing the proposed hazard mitigation or resiliency improvement; and, • The anticipated reduction in damage or other negative impacts that will result from the proposed project. In December 2013, the FTA released the “Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Resilience Projects in Response to Hurricane Sandy” for $3 billion to fund competitive resiliency (i.e., Tier 3) projects. The NOFA provides the following project evaluation factors: • Hazard Mitigation Cost Effectiveness • Project Implementation Strategy • Protection of Most Essential and Vulnerable Infrastructure • Local and Regional Planning Collaboration and Coordination • Interdependency of the Public Transportation Resilience Project • Local Financial Commitment • Technical Capacity • Other Factors (geographic diversity, diversity among project types) 2Memorandum from US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration, “Second Allocation of Public Transporta- tion Emergency Relief Funds in Response to Hurricane Sandy: Response, Recovery & Resiliency,” May 2013, p. 11–12 3Ibid., p. 13

Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance 75 Studies on Resiliency In response to the threat from severe weather events to transit and transportation generally, the FTA, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems (Volpe) Center have recently released, or are planning to release, major climate adaptation reports. The first two studies are included as part of the recommended practices on the FTA’s website: • U.S. Department of Transportation, FTA, Office of Budget and Policy, “Flooded Bus Barns and Buckled Rails: Public Transportation and Climate Change Adaptation, FTA Report No. 0001,” 2011 (“Flooded Bus Barns”) • U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework,” December 2012 Additionally, the Volpe Center released a study on resiliency: • U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, “Infrastructure Resiliency: A Risk Based Framework,” June 2013 Finally, the FTA released a report in 2014, on the Transit Climate Change Adaptation Assessment Pilots4 awarded competitively to seven transit agencies across the country. The pilots follow up on the FTA’s “Flooded Bus Barns” and are the agency’s next step in addressing adaptation in transit. “Flooded Bus Barns” was undertaken “to provide transit professionals with information and analysis relevant to adapting U.S. public transportation assets and services to climate change impacts.”5 The study advocates “taking a risk management approach that mitigates risk without expensively over-engineering assets.”6 The steps identified in the study for performing risk assess- ments include: 1) identifying climate hazards; 2) characterizing the risk to transit agency infra- structure and operations; 3) linking risk mitigation strategies to the organizational structures and responsibilities; 4) implementing adaptation plans; and, 5) monitoring and reassessing. The report further states that an asset management system offers a streamlined framework for identifying climate risks, tracking climate impacts on asset condition, and incorporating adaptation strategies into capital plans and budgets. The study further provides case studies that illustrate the use of criticality and vulnerability of assets to assess risk. Criteria for assessing criticality of transit assets included effects on the regional economy, with regard to accessibility and on emergency evacua- tion. Vulnerability included the identification of thresholds above that which impacts are severe (e.g., inches of rain per hour before drainage systems are overwhelmed). The FHWA’s “Climate Change Adaptation & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment” states that, “It is important to recognize . . . that typical historical climate conditions are unlikely to be representative of all future climate conditions. . . . Furthermore, it is unlikely that the trends of past decades will persist unchanged into the future; especially on longer timescales (greater than 30 to 40 years). Simply extending past trend lines into the future may underestimate future changes.”7 The purpose of the FHWA report is to provide a framework and guide, with a collec- tion of resources for use in analyzing the impacts of extreme weather on all transportation infrastructure—including transit. The framework for performing vulnerability assessments includes three steps: (1) defining the scope/objectives for a vulnerability assessment, such as siting 4U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, “Transit and Climate Change Adaptation: Synthesis of FTA-Funded Pilot Projects.” 5U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Office of Budget and Policy, “Flooded Bus Barns and Buckled Rails: Public Transportation and Climate Change Adaptation, FTA Report No. 0001,” 2011, p. vii 6Ibid., p.2 7U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework,” December 2012, p.18

76 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency new assets, educating staff, or informing the development of adaptation strategies; (2) based on the objectives, assess vulnerability through tasks such as information gathering on assets as well as historical and projected weather events, and assigning a level of risk of the impact on the assets; and, (3) incorporating results into decision making.8 The study also identifies establishing the criticality of assets as a valuable component of the vulnerability assessment.9 FHWA’s Vulner- ability Assessment Framework is shown in Figure E-1. Figure E-1. FHWA Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework.10 8Ibid, p. v 9Ibid, p. 9 10U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework” December 2012, p.2

Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance 77 According to the Volpe Center’s “Infrastructure Resiliency: A Risk-Based Framework,” natu- ral disasters are no longer rare; it is necessary to focus on long-term resiliency impacts; and global connectivity is at risk. The factors that are contributing to these weather-related disasters include rising sea levels and water temperatures and changing precipitation. While the climate patterns have been changing slowly, the effects have become more severe; and the impacts to society have become larger due to accelerated growth in the coastal regions, and growth in the value of assets lost during events.11 Furthermore, global connectivity is at risk as transportation infrastructure is interlinked with information, trade, and financial systems. The Volpe Center study cites a Brookings Institution (2011) study that indicated “every dollar spent on mainte- nance for bridges saved $4 to $5 on repair costs after failure of asset;” and a Healy and Malharta (2009) study that indicated “every dollar spent on pre-disaster preparedness saves $15 in terms of future damage.”12 The Volpe framework is a systematic, risk-based, and layered defense approach which involves a lifecycle approach to design, construction, operation, and protection of complex infrastructure systems (see Figure E-2). The study defines resiliency as a process for managing complex infra- structure—not a single outcome. As indicated, the FTA report that focused on seven pilot projects at transit organizations across the country is soon to be released. Interim reports to FTA indicate the pilots have focused on (1) the use of Environmental Management Systems to address adaptation; (2) determin- ing criticality approaches; (3) determining vulnerability; (4) developing asset management approaches; and, (5) integrating adaptation into business practices. Tools to Support a Risk-Based Approach A common theme within the studies cited above is the need for a risk-based approach in managing severe weather impacts that recognizes criticality and vulnerability. The studies are consistent in stressing that the risk-based approach should be integrated into any existing management system and reviewed on an ongoing basis so as to provide a proactive, reactive, and cost-effective response. Over the past few years, transit agencies such as MTA New York City Transit and LACMTA have been developing resiliency plans that generally follow the FTA, the FHWA, and the Volpe Center frameworks. They are developing systematic methodologies to prioritize and incorporate resiliency into projects. These methodologies could be utilized system-wide to assist in prioritization for capital planning and maintaining an SOGR. The elements of this methodology are to: • Develop a process to evaluate and rate criticality of assets. • Develop a process to evaluate and rate vulnerability to severe-weather threats over time, such as fluvial flooding, storm surge (including effects of potential sea level rise), heat, wind, snow and ice, and more. • Develop a process to prioritize the most at-risk (critical and vulnerable) assets. 11U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, “Infrastructure Resiliency: A Risk Based Framework,” June, 2013, p. 2 12U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, “Infrastructure Resiliency: A Risk Based Framework,” June, 2013, p. 4–5

78 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency Graphic Source: The Volpe Naonal Transportaon Systems Center Figure E-2. The Volpe Center Infrastructure Resiliency Framework.13 13U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, “Infrastructure Resiliency: A Risk Based Framework,” June, 2013, p. 4 • Develop a process to address the most at-risk (critical and vulnerable) assets through resil- iency improvements to the system and by incorporating resiliency strategies into capital proj- ects, emergency response planning, and operations. • Develop a process to monitor and re-assess the resiliency planning. Table E-1 summarizes different tools and resources that are available to support a risk-based approach to planning resilient transit systems.

Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance 79 Tool Source Link Description Applicability to Transit FTA Hazard Mitigation Cost Effectiveness Tool FTA None FTA tool developed based on a FEMA HMCE tool and supplied to transit agencies applying for post-Sandy resilience project funding. Expected to be modified for wider release in the next year or two. Helps transit agencies calculate benefit-cost ratios of proposed resilience projects based on anticipated capital and maintenance costs of project, expected construction delays, historical frequency and severity of extreme events, impacts of historical extreme events (in terms of agency costs and passenger delays), and anticipated impacts avoided from resilience project. Yes, transit-specific Vulnerability Assessment Scoring Tool (VAST) U.S. DOT https://www.fhwa.dot. gov/environment/clim ate_change/adaptation /adaptation_framework /modules/index.cfm ?moduleid=4 VAST provides a framework for conducting a quantitative, indicator-based vulnerability screen for vulnerability. The tool is intended for state DOTs and MPOs interested in assessing how components of their transportation system may be vulnerable to climate stressors-including, but not limited to, changes in temperature, changes in heavy precipitation, sea level rise, and severe storms. Detailed instructions are included within the tool. Some transit-specific indicators/methods included, broader framework is applicable to any type of infrastructure CMIP Climate Data Processing Tool U.S. DOT https://www.fhwa.dot. gov/environment/clim ate_change/adaptation /adaptation_framework /modules/index.cfm ?moduleid=4 The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) Climate Data Processing Tool, developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, will process raw climate model outputs from the World Climate Research Programme's CMIP3 and CMIP5 into relevant statistics for transportation planners. These statistics include changes in the frequency of very hot days and extreme precipitation events and other climate characteristics that may affect transportation infrastructure and services by the middle and end of the century. Detailed instructions are included within the User's Guide, including information on the difference between the CMIP3 and CMIP5 Climate Data Processing Tools and how to select the right one for your situation. Provides transportation infrastructure-specific climate change projections (e.g., number of days > 100 degrees). Many of these variables may be applicable to transit (e.g., heat kinks or flood projections) Cities Impacts and Adaptation Tool U. Michigan Graham Sustainability Center https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/cities-impacts- adaptation-tool-ciat The Cities Impacts & Adaptation Tool (CIAT) is an online climate adaptation planning support tool for decision makers at the municipal level in the Great Lakes region. The site provides local-scale data for cities with populations of 20,000 or higher, including current and projected climate trends, demographic and socioeconomic data, and descriptions of adaptation strategies pulled from existing planning documents for municipalities across North America. For any city in the database, the tool identifies a custom network of "climate peers" through an interactive map interface. Climate peers are cities whose current climate reflects the selected city's projected climate in 2041-2070. Midwest only. Would help identify “climate peers” Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework FHWA http://www.fhwa.dot. gov/environment/climate _change/adaptation/ publications/vulnerabil ity_assessment_frame work/index.cfm FHWA’s vulnerability assessment and adaptation framework provides guidance for state and local transportation agencies for use in analyzing the impacts of climate change and extreme weather on transportation infrastructure. Principles are broadly applicable, but this is not a “tool” per se CMIP5 Global Climate Change Viewer (GCCV) USGS https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/cmip5-global- climate-change- viewer-gccv The Global Climate Change Viewer (GCCV) displays future temperature and precipitation changes simulated by global climate models in CMIP5. Users can view projections for any county, for all available models, and all Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) emission scenarios. The GCCV also provides access to plots and quantile breakdowns of monthly temperature and precipitation from 1850-2100. Data from the experiments are binned into 25- year climatologies that span the 21st century. Easy access to some climate variables that may be of interest to transit agencies (similar to U.S. DOT CMIP Climate Data Processing Tool). The GCCV is a bit easier to use, but results are coarser and potentially not as useful, but worth checking here first because you can see outputs instantaneously. Table E-1. Summary of tools to support a risk-based approach to climate adaptation and resilience. (continued on next page)

80 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency Tool Source Link Description Applicability to Transit Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper NOAA https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/coastal-flood- exposure-mapper The site provides maps that show people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flooding. Provides a source of coastal flooding inundation projections, applicable to transit agencies in a coastal area Coastal Resilience Mapping Portal The Nature Conservancy http://maps.coastalres ilience.org/network/ Users have access to interactive tools to visualize future flood risks from sea level rise and storm surge. Other tools can help users identify areas and populations at risk from coastal hazards and gain a better understanding of ecological, social, and economic impacts. This information is particularly helpful for officials involved in coastal planning, zoning, and land acquisition who must take rising sea levels and increased storm intensity and frequency into consideration. Provides a source of coastal flooding inundation projections, applicable to transit agencies in a coastal area Coastal Resilience Index Mississippi- Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and NOAA's Coastal Storms Program https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/coastal- resilience-index The Coastal Resilience Index is a self-assessment tool. To complete the index, community leaders get together and use the tool to guide discussion about their community’s resilience to coastal hazards. The Index provides a simple, inexpensive method for community leaders to perform a self-assessment of their community’s resilience to coastal hazards, identifying weaknesses a community may want to address prior to the next hazard event and guiding community discussion. The Index is not intended for comparison between communities. Not designed for transit agencies specifically, but some questions may be applicable Federal Highway Administration Scenario Planning Guidebook FHWA https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/federal- highway- administration- scenario-planning- guidebook Transit agencies can use this guidebook for scenario planning to address transportation issues, changes in land use, and population growth or decline, as well as climate change and uses of alternative energy. Not designed for transit agencies specifically, but some components may be applicable HAZUS-MH FEMA https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/hazus Hazus is a nationally applicable standardized methodology developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A downloadable software package called Hazus- MH (for Multi-Hazard) gives users access to FEMA's models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Integrated Rapid Visual Screening for Tunnels DHS https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/integrated- rapid-visual- screening-tunnels Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) for Tunnels is a software-facilitated procedure for assessing the risk to tunnels from natural and human-caused hazards that have the potential to cause catastrophic losses. Using the tool requires downloading and installing software on a computer or tablet running the Windows® operating system. Completing the IRVS procedure for a tunnel results in a quantifiable assessment of the risk of a given tunnel to a terrorist attack or natural disaster leading to catastrophic losses (fatalities, injuries, damage, or business interruption) and a quantifiable assessment of the resiliency of the tunnel (ability to recover from such an event). Not specifically climate change-related, but potentially could be used for climate change analysis if hazard risk probabilities are manually adjustable Inundation Analysis Tool NOAA http://tidesandcurrents .noaa.gov/inundation/ Coastal storms and other meteorological phenomenon can have a significant impact on how high water levels rise and how often. The inundation analysis program—an online, interactive map-based tool located on NOAA's Tides & Currents website—is beneficial in determining the frequency (or the occurrence of high waters for different elevations above a specified threshold) and duration (or the amount of time that the specified location is inundated by water) of observed high waters (tides). Statistical output from these analyses can be useful in planning marsh restoration activities. Additionally, the analyses have broader applications for the coastal engineering and mapping community, such as ecosystem management and regional climate change. Since these statistical outputs are station- specific, use for evaluating surrounding areas may be limited. Provides a source of coastal flooding inundation projections, applicable to transit agencies in a coastal area Table E-1. (Continued).

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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 197: Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency explores the development of practical tools for improving sustainability at transit agencies:

  • The Sustainability Routemap: An interactive PDF, similar to a website, that guides the user to improve a transit agency’s sustainability program through application of change management principles, best practice examples, and references to online tools.
  • The Sustainability Checklist
  • The S+ROI Calculator: An Excel workbook that quantitatively evaluates potential sustainability projects in terms of financial, social, and environmental returns.
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