Construction projects at area airports and crossings are about to get more eco-friendly.
On Sept. 22, in honor of Climate Week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced the implementation of the agency's Clean Construction Program, which is dedicated to reducing carbon emissions on agency projects.
"As one of the key economic drivers in the region, we continue to make smart investments to reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices across the region," said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole. "We are leading the way toward a more sustainable future because now more than ever we must all be committed to protecting our environment."
The new program will ensure that at least 75 percent of concrete, asphalt and steel construction waste generated from Port Authority projects will be diverted from landfills. It also includes high standards for environmentally friendly infrastructure design.
To help lessen its carbon footprint, the Port Authority has reduced the required cement content in certain concrete mixes, significantly reducing their carbon intensity, and has started pilot programs to develop new, low-carbon materials and concrete.
Low-emission construction vehicles will be required for all agency projects, and environmental data will be collected from construction contractors.
All future Port Authority building projects will be required to adhere to the guidelines set forth in the Clean Construction Program, with many of the new guiding principles already being implemented at ongoing project sites, including the LaGuardia Airport and Newark Airport Terminal One redevelopments.
At LaGuardia, approximately 22,000 tons of concrete were recycled from the demolition of an old parking structure, with nearly 2,500 tons being reused immediately on a nearby work site.
Meanwhile, at Newark, more than 30,000 tons of asphalt, 101,000 tons of concrete and 61,000 tons of soil have been recycled to date.
"We are committed to building our facilities to meet world-class, 21st century environmental standards in alignment with the aggressive goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement," said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton.
"As the first transportation agency to sign on to the climate accords, our Clean Construction Program will set new standards in the region and the world for sustainable building practices through measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and improve air quality in our host communities," he continued.