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Please note: This site was developed to help you understand the regulations. Consult the references provided for links to the full text of the regulations.

About TERC

TERC is intended to help you find information on the environmental regulations that affect the transportation sector. The site includes overviews of the regulations, tips on how to comply, best practice solutions that can help the environment while saving you money, and links to other useful resources.

Not sure where to start? Try one of the Compliance Summary Tools (top of the left hand menu bar) for customized compliance assistance reports based on your specific location and type of operation. Or select a category of interest from the left hand menu bar:

  • by Transportation Mode, for information relating specifically to transport by Road, Rail, Water, or Air, or select Intermodal for topics involving two or more modes
  • by Service Functions for topics common to all modes
  • by Regulations for topics specific to air, water or other environmental categories

You may also select All Topics at the bottom of the left hand menu for a sortable list of all topics (current and future) covered on the site.

Topics impacting road, water, and rail transportation are fully complete and are updated on a regular basis. The road portion was developed in cooperation with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The rail portion was developed in cooperation with the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) and industry experts. Select air and intermodal transportation topics are now included and are expected to be further enhanced during 2015. TERC is seeking additional partners for the water, air and intermodal transportation modes.

This website was developed and is maintained by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences. Funding for this project has been provided by EPA under the National Compliance Assistance Centers program. For more information, or to pass along suggestions, please contact: Bill Chenevert, TERC Administrative Director

What's New at TERC

Intermodal Topics Added. Intermodal transportation is fast becoming the method of choice for logisticians worldwide. A new drop down menu has been added to address regulatory requirements impacting cargo shipments transported via multiple (intermodal) modes of transportation. Two new tools have been developed related to intermodal transportation that should be of interest to all. See below:

Intermodal Choices and Greenhouse Gas Emissions – How do the carbon footprints of road, rail, water, and air transport compare? A new TERC page finds some answers that may surprise you. The page includes links to two downloadable spreadsheets – an intermodal emissions calculator, and a calculator that lets you determine when a change of cruising speed might boost fuel economy and lower emissions.

Compliance Summary Tools for Water and Rail. TERC Compliance Summary Tools provide customized compliance assistance reports based on your state location and type of operation. The Water and Rail Compliance Summary Tools were introduced in 2013 joining the Road Compliance Summary Tool completed earlier. The Air Compliance Summary Tool is expected to be launched in early 2014. Typical information includes permitting, reporting, recordkeeping and other requirements pertaining to emissions control and waste disposal for both on-shore facilities and ships operating in US waters.

Alternative Fuels – State Regulations. A new tool is now available to help guide you through the most recent information on what states are doing to encourage the availability and use of alternative fuels. This easy-to-use tool contains information of particular interest to transportation, selected from an extensive database of state and local regulations and incentives managed by the Department of Energy. Starting with a summary table covering all 50 states (plus Federal rules and programs), you can scan the table for items of interest (with the aid of supplementary text boxes), select pages listing all of the items for each state, or link to the DoE database for more information. You can also find a page of comparison tables listing different states' approaches to selected topics.

Contact TERC

If you have any comments on what is currently posted on the site or how it is posted, or if you would like to see additional topics covered here, please let us know.

Bill Chenevert, Administrative Director,
George Cushnie, Technical Director,



September 22, 2014
EPA Announces Grant Opportunities to Reduce Diesel Emissions at Ports

WASHINGTON - Today, EPA announced the availability of up to $5 million in grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from marine and inland water ports located in areas of poor air quality. (full text)

April 9, 2014
EPA Working with Ports to Improve Environmental Performance
Over the past eight months, EPA has led a national conversation on ports, which brought together a wide variety of stakeholders from community organizations, port authorities, shippers, local governments and academia for three themed webinars to share information, goals, and successes of ports in reducing emissions and improving environmental performance. Through this process, EPA set the stage for the development of a new port recognition initiative that will provide additional incentives to improve a variety of environmental issues including improving local air quality, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing environmental justice issues. (full text)

March 19, 2014
EPA Celebrates 10 Years of SmartWay Partnerships
**Voluntary program saves companies billions in fuel costs while cutting pollution.
WASHINGTON--EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership is celebrating 10 years as a market-driven initiative that empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest most energy-efficient way possible, saving businesses money while protecting public health and fighting climate change. More ...

December 11, 2013
EPA Program Seeks to Improve Air Quality in Port Communities - $4 Million Grant Program to Clean Older Diesel Engines at Ports

WASHINGTON - EPA is announcing the availability of $4 million in grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from marine and inland water ports, many of which are in areas that face environmental justice challenges. More ...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
EPA Honors Freight Industry Leaders for Environmental Achievements / EPA SmartWay Program Has Saved 65 Million Barrels of Oil since 2004
- EPA is honoring 55 companies as industry leaders in supply chain environmental and energy efficiency with its 2013 SmartWay Excellence Awards. These awards go to companies that have demonstrated outstanding achievements in reducing carbon pollution and other harmful emissions as they move goods across the U.S. more efficiently. (full text)

Friday, July 26, 2013
EPA Reduces Regulatory Burden for Industrial Facilities Using Solvent Wipes
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) modified the hazardous waste management regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated wipes from hazardous waste regulations provided that businesses clean or dispose of them properly. -- (full text)

Supported by

NCMS   Compliance Assistance Centers

                               Funded by EPA
                                through a Cooperative                               Agreement