​​SCOE Operating Principles  

Chair: Matthew Garrett, Oregon
Vice Chair: Tim Hill, Ohio ​
Secretary: Shannon Eggleston, AASHTO

Steering Group:

AASHTO's Standing Committee on Environment (SCOE) is guided by a Steering Group (SG), which has as its major responsibilities:

  • Assist the chairperson with administrative functions of the SCOE;
  • Promote the Vision, Mission and Goals of the SCOE through the development and maintenance of the Strategic Plan; Develop annual work plan, in conjunction with subcommittees and ad hoc task groups;
  • Promote the involvement of all state transportation agencies in the SCOE, its subcommittees, the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO, ad hoc task groups, and the Environmental Technical Assistance Project (ETAP);
  • Identify issues/tasks and suggest appropriate subcommittees and ad hoc task groups to address issues/tasks; Serve as a coordinating body for SCOE Subcommittee activities. Seek to establish relationships and coordinate with other AASHTO Committees, as appropriate.
  • Review all documents requiring a formal vote by SCOE membership prior to proceeding to the AASHTO Board of Directors.
  • Oversee development and implementation of an SCOE Orientation Program for new members; and
  • Direct the ETAP program; Provide Input to the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO

Composition

The SG shall consist of up to three (3) voting members, to the extent practical, from each of the AASHTO regions (i.e. WASHTO, NASHTO, SASHTO & Miss Valley), plus the chair of the SCOE, or designee, and the chairs of the subcommittees. The SCOE chair, or designee, shall serve as chair of the SG. A member of the AASHTO staff shall assist the SG in its activities, including serving as recording secretary.

Term

Each SG voting member shall be appointed for a three-year term. To the extent practical, terms will be staggered so that approximately one-third of the positions are filled each year. An annual poll of the members will be conducted to determine their ability and interest in continuing as members of the SG.

SG voting members shall be eligible for appointment to successive terms.

Eligibility

To serve as a SG voting member, an individual must be employed by a SCOE member state transportation agency and directly involved with the management of transportation environmental programs. In addition, an individual should have the support of his/her agency for attendance at all SCOE and SG meetings.

Meetings

The meeting locations and dates shall be determined each calendar year by the SG chair after consultation with the SG membership. At a minimum, a meeting shall be held in conjunction with the Standing Committee on Environment Spring Meeting.

Minutes of SG meetings shall be distributed in a timely manner to all SCOE members. Appointment

New SG voting member appointments shall be recommended by the SG and approved by the chair of the SCOE. To the extent practical, appointments should occur at the Spring meeting of the SG.

Vacancies

Should a SG voting member be unable to complete his/her term, a replacement shall be appointed in accordance with the criteria noted above.

Accountability

The SG, through the active participation of its members, with the support of AASHTO staff, the Standing Committee on Environment and its subcommittees and ad hoc task groups, as appropriate, will carry out all of its responsibilities in a timely manner. It will report on the status of its activities at the Spring meeting of the Standing Committee on Environment, and at other times, as appropriate.

At its Spring meeting, the SG shall approve an annual work plan based on input from the Standing Committee on Environment and its subcommittees and ad hoc task groups. The draft work plan shall be distributed to SCOE members, revised as necessary, and implemented. Subsequent amendments to the work plan may be made by the voting members of the SG, but shall be distributed to all SCOE members in a timely fashion.

SCOE Subcommittee Structure:

Chair Responsibilties:

  • Serve on Steering Group
  • Actively participate in both Steering Group and Subcommittee Activities
  • Assure that the Subcommittee is focused on solving one or more problems or producing products on issues of high interest to the SCOE membership
  • Ensure that his/her Subcommittee has developed clear and appropriate visions and goals that are consistent with AASHTO’s mission, and in implementing Board direction and initiatives
  • Maintain open lines of communication with SCOE Steering Group, subcommittee members, ETAP consultants, and AASHTO staff
  • Fairly and accurately represent the views of the subcommittee membership.

The chair should give considerable thought to accepting the responsibility of his/her position. Other personal and professional commitments should allow him/her to accept the time-consuming task inherent with the job. It is recommended that a proposed chair, seek and receive the approval of his/her state supervisor prior to accepting the position of subcommittee chair. The Chair must set the example for the subcommittee in commitment to a task and in leading the group to its completion.

Appointment:

Volunteers will be solicited for interest in assuming the responsibility of chair. The chairman of SCOE will select the new chair based upon expertise, leadership capabilities, and geographic diversity (i.e., geographic diversity among all subcommittee chairs).

Membership of Subcommittees:

The subcommittee chair must ensure that the very best expertise available is recruited while taking care not to skew the membership to any one region or program interest.

Appointment:

The Subcommittees will be comprised of a maximum of ten members (exceptions can be granted by the Steering Group). SCOE membership will be solicited for volunteers to serve on the subcommittees on a periodic basis.

Responsibilities:

  • Attend meetings and participate in conference calls to the maximum extent possible.
  • Seek and receive approval for participation from his/her state
  • Commit to representing his/her state views rather than personal opinions and preferences.
  • Agree with the mission of the subcommittee and work to produce products that can be benefited by all SCOE membership.

Vice Chairs:

Each subcommittee may select a vice-chair, as appropriate. This person will be selected by the chair of the subcommittee and approved by the steering group.

Policy Formulating Structure:

In general, policy statements will be developed at the subcommittee level. A product will be drafted, subcommittee members will be provided with opportunities for comment, and a vote will be taken. A simple majority vote will result in the product being sent to the Steering Group for review and approval. Members of the Steering Group will have the opportunity to review the product and vote to either 1) have it proceed to the full SCOE membership for endorsement; or two, vote to return it to the subcommittee for additional work. If the product is approved to be submitted to the full SCOE membership, the product will be distributed with a ballot.. A thirty-five vote from the SCOE membership will be required to pass the product to the AASHTO Board of Directors for Association adoption.

Votes at the subcommittee and steering group level will be taken on a simple majority basis. Policy related products (e.g., position papers) sent to the SCOE membership will require a thirty-five vote majority. Procedural issues sent to the SCOE membership will only require a simple majority.

Expectations of SCOE Members

New members of the Standing Committee are appointed by their respective Chief Administrative Officers in recognition of their knowledge and experience in transportation related environmental matters. It is this knowledge and experience that places the Committee in a strategic position to monitor and, more importantly, influence policy and regulation. To be effective, the Committee must have full participation by its members.

SCOE members are expected to attend the Spring Meeting. This meeting includes a Washington update from key FHWA personnel, individual and/or panel presentations on a variety of environmental topics, subcommittee breakout sessions, a business session, project showcases (usually by the host state transportation agency) and a field trip. The meeting is informative and an excellent opportunity to engage in networking with your colleagues.

At the heart of the Committee are the subcommittees and task groups. These smaller operating units are discipline focused (e.g. air quality, cultural resources, etc.) or issue oriented (e.g. TEA-21 Streamlining, 23 CFR 771 Revisions, etc.). They engage in an assortment of activities, including policy recommendations, drafting of resolutions for adoption by AASHTO, development of position papers, research, surveys, etc. Committee members are asked to serve on a subcommittee and/or task groups. This may entail attendance at meetings other than those conducted at the Annual Meeting. Recognizing limitations on travel budgets, subcommittee and task group members often conduct much of their business by mail or some method of telecommunication. To the extent possible, AASHTO will seek to assist in travel funds for meetings that are not scheduled in conjunction with the annual SCOE meeting. Nevertheless, it is expected that each member will be dedicated and active in carrying out the tasks charged to the subcommittee and/or task groups. New members will be given the opportunity, through their mentors, to indicate their first and second choices for subcommittee assignment. The SCOE Steering Group will determine assignment based on the expertise and interest of the assignee, to the extent practicable, while maintaining balanced participation on all of the subcommittees and task groups. Reassignment may be accommodated by a request to the Steering Group. As a general rule, subcommittees will be limited to ten members. Exceptions can be granted by the Steering Group.

All members in good standing on the full Committee are eligible and encouraged to serve as chairpersons of the subcommittees and task groups, assuming the traditional role and responsibilities inherent therein.