We initiate and coordinate Secretarial policies on safety, energy and environment issues affecting all aspects of transportation. Our office provides technical expertise on safety, energy and environmental matters for the Department’s legislative, regulatory and research programs. We serve as the Departmental focal point for domestic and international initiatives related to safety, energy and environment, including project delivery. We conduct analyses and recommend policies for reducing transportation fatality and injury rates, increasing stewardship of the human and natural environment including air quality, water quality, and historic resources, and protecting environmental health while improving the transportation system.
- To develop, coordinate and evaluate public policy on transportation safety including hazardous materials.
- To develop, coordinate and evaluate public policy on environment and energy issues affecting all aspects of transportation.
- To maintain policy oversight of legislative and regulatory proposals affecting these areas across the Department.
- To conduct or oversee studies and analyses, as appropriate, and provide advice on research and development requirements and concerns.
- To monitor compliance procedures for handling National Transportation Safety Board recommendations.
What We Do
Safety and Health
- The safety and health team has primary responsibility for developing and reviewing transportation legislation and regulations, and coordinating national transportation policy initiatives relating to safety and health matters affecting all aspects of transportation. The team reviews and analyzes the safety and health implications of domestic transportation policy to provide a basis for advising management actions and decisions.
- Provides the Secretary and senior Department officials with a source of informed, rigorous, independent policy advice and leadership to assure that the Department is responding to its safety and health responsibilities and that key national and organizational safety goals are being met efficiently, consistently and effectively.
- Provides executive leadership for safety and health projects that are cross-modal to promote safer and user-friendlier transportation services, with a focus on Secretarial priorities.
- Provides leadership and supports individual modal administrations in high profile air, rail, motor, pipeline, hazardous materials transportation and maritime safety issues of special importance to the Secretary to fulfill the Secretary’s commitment that safety is the Department’s first priority.
- Coordinates cross-modal and high profile projects related to the Department’s efforts to deliver a national transportation system that meets and prepares for the needs of an aging population.
The energy and environment team has primary responsibility for developing and reviewing transportation legislation and regulations, and coordinating national transportation policy initiatives, relating to environmental and energy matters affecting all aspects of transportation. The team reviews and analyzes the environmental implications of domestic transportation policy to provide a basis for advising management actions and decisions.
The energy and environment team coordinates Departmental policy related to the following topics:
- Hydrogen Fuel
- Alternative Fuel
- National Environmental Policy Act
- Sustainability and Quality of Life
- Clean Air & Water
- Environmental Justice
- Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience, and Mitigation
- Environmental Stewardship and Efficient Project Delivery
- Historic Preservation
- Species and Habitat Protection
- American Heritage Rivers
- Coastal America Partnership
- Analyzes, formulates, and recommends Departmental policies, plans, and guidelines to the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy and the Secretary regarding public policy on safety including hazardous materials, environmental issues including environmental health, and energy issues affecting the transportation sector.
- Provides support and policy advice on all matters and initiatives related to energy and transportation, including global climate change and related environmental impacts, energy conservation, energy-efficiency, alternative fuels and energy security.
- Formulates and recommends departmental policies, plans and guidelines related to the natural and human environment. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, policy advice and activities on air quality, water quality, ecosystem management, noise, emissions, sustainability and quality of life of states and communities, historic preservation, and bicycle and pedestrian transportation.
- Provides leadership and guidance and serves as the Departmental focal point for safety, energy and environmental initiatives, domestic and international, from within or outside the Department.
- Provides a source of technical expertise for the Department’s legislative, regulatory, and research programs and technical reviews involving such issues. Ensures that all proposed policies and regulations coincide with the Secretary's intent.
- Develops and proposes policies in cooperation with other OST offices, operating administrations, and other affected parties as appropriate. Proposes and/or comments on proposals for transportation-related legislation involving safety, energy and environmental concerns.
- Formulates and recommends Departmental policies, plans, budgets, resources, and guidelines related to the safe and secure cross-modal transportation of hazardous materials. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to: monitoring all Departmental hazardous materials activities; in coordination with the Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs, focusing Departmental resources on specific cross-modal initiatives; coordinating hazmat outreach and data activities; resolving operating administration disputes on hazardous materials issues; and acting as the Departmental focal point for Federal hazardous materials priorities and objectives.
- Monitors compliance with DOT Order 2000.1D by working with the OAs and the NTSB to ensure the procedures for handling NTSB recommendations are properly met.