The Biden Administration continued its push for decarbonization on September 15 with the Buy Clean Initiative announcement by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, General Services Administrator Robin Carnahan and Deputy National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi. The White House named steel, concrete, asphalt and flat glass as top priorities for Buy Clean Initiative actions. As such, the Buy Clean Initiative Task Force will provide instructions to federal agencies about integrating this directive into their procurement processes. Additionally, the Department of Transportation (DOT) released a policy statement saying that they will assess and address embodied emissions in the “design, construction, procurement, maintenance, and disposal of transportation projects.”

After this announcement, ACPA followed up with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to further understand how the provisions will affect the concrete pavement industry. FHWA reiterated that Buy Clean is not a federal mandate and the announced efforts are in line with the course FHWA has been pursuing. ACPA has a meeting scheduled on October 6 with the agency and Chapter/State Executives to continue the conversation and to discuss this and other priorities, such as sustainability and resilience, further.

The announcement also included a transfer of $250M in grants and $100M for program costs to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to expand “the reliability, transparency and verification of environmental product declarations.” In a statement, the White House said they would convene states next month to partner on Buy Clean actions and align national, state and local efforts. The full announcement can be found here, and the Federal Buy Clean Initiative homepage can be found here.