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CD17BDD13605023887258727005C9F51 Hearing Summary


Date Aug 4, 2021      
Location Old State Library

Presentation from Colorado Energy Office and Colorado Department of Transportation - Committee Discussion Only

10:51:43 AM  
Shoshana Lew, Executive
Director representing the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT),
provided a PowerPoint presesentation (Attachment G) and an update about
Glenwood Canyon. Director Lew discussed that the threat to the canyon is
ongoing with three areas of concern: moving debris to determine what needs
permanent repairs; dealing with unstable boulders; and safe passage for
CDOT employees and contractors working on the road.  She touched on
areas outside of the canyon experiencing the greatest damage, including
the Shoshone Power Plant.  She stated that the structure is secure,
but CDOT continues to monitor the area.  She mentioned that CDOT is
working when the weather is safe, however the monsoon weather pattern is
a problem.  She also suggested that there may be additional water
damage, but CDOT does not believe there is structural damage.  

10:55:20 AM  
Director Lew talked
about damage on the upper decks of the highway, as well as submersiion
of the lower deck.  She mentioned that the flow of the river channel
was affected, too.  Director Lew talked about ther partnership between
CDOT and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to take care of emergency
operations and monitor safety.  She stated that DPS is helping with
traffic and CDOT is working within communities and with peer agencies and
the federal government.  Director Lew indicated that the Governor's
declaration under the Stafford Act will bring in resources.  She stated
that US50 is open until the situation is stabilized and that the efforts
to work on the highway will be long term.
10:58:02 AM  
Director Lew talked
about developments over the previous 48 hours, including work with the
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to provide emergency program funds,
separate from the emergency declaration.  Steve Harrelson, Chief Engineer
for CDOT, provided additional information about the damage to the highway.
  He stated that stanchions on the upper deck that hold the concrete
need to be repaired with new concrete and rebar near Blue Gulch.  He
talked about debris removal and indicated that the lower deck contains
mud and water that has undercut the retaining wall, possibly damaging it.

11:01:33 AM  
Mr. Harrelson talked
about the debris flow.  He mentioned that the debris was like oatmeal
and 15 feet deep, but is now rocks the size of cars, trash cans, and bowling
balls, perhaps making the debris harder to move.  He talked about
recent storms and the constant clearing of debris that forces the river
from side to side.  Mr. Harrelson outlined the damage from Dotsero
to Rifle, with severe damage at Hanging Lakes.  He stated that the
access to the Shoshone Intake Dam is obliterated, and that power is out
at Shoshone, including no power for the dam gates.

11:07:54 AM  
There was a discussion
about the timeframe for opening the road.  Mr. Harrelson outlined
the plan to have one lane open in each direction next week, one on the
top deck and one on the bottom deck.  He indicated that CDOT will
get more help this week from contractors with dump trucks and front end
loaders, although they are affected by the trucking shortage, too.  He
stated that the plan is to have the highway completely open before the
onset of winter and the ski season.

11:16:07 AM  
There was a discussion
about supporting communities.  CDOT staff indicated that impediments
to alternate routes, US 50 and a smaller project on US 285, were removed.
 Director Lew indicated that the State Patrol is providing enforcement,
signage, flagging, and temporary staff on Independence Pass.  She
asked that communities communicate successes and needs.  She talked
about a standing group, including counties, to provide feedback on traffic
and other issues; and mentioned long term conversatons with regards to
response, recovery, and resiliency.  

11:25:09 AM  
Discussion turned
to the effects of wildfire and materials for mitigating fire on forest
health.  Mr. Harrelson discussed how materials and seed are applied
with fire retardant, however run off is increased due to the state of the
soil.  He mentioned that the soil must be broken up, however this
does happen over time.  Mr. Harrelson and Director Lew talked about
the State Forest Service and Department of Natural Resources work with
CDOT.  Director Lew mentioned that the berm at the top of Hanging
Lake Tunnel was helpful in containing some of the debris.
11:29:07 AM  
There was a discussion
about alternate routes and communication with local partners, including
packaging projects together with additional discussions.

11:36:39 AM  
Mr. Harrelson discussed
State Highway 14, including that there was no damage due to mud, however
there were issues with culverts.  The discussion included funding
and response related to the 2013 floods, such as Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) and FHWA funds.
11:41:59 AM  
There was a discussion
about problems with immediate repairs as well as previous repairs.
11:42:43 AM  
Director Will Toor,
representing the Colorado Energy Office (CEO), provided an update on transportation
emissions and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission  goals (Attachment H).
 He talked about transportation as the largest source of GHG emissions
in the state.  He outlined other major sources, including: electric
power generation, oil and gas, and buildings.  Director Toor talked
about the GHG Roadmap, released last year, that sets goals over the next
decade through 2030.   He mentioned that low and zero emission vehicle
rules are already in place and that fleet turnover will continue, as well
as investment in light duty infrastructure and electrifiction.  Director
Toor outlined additional strategies, including:  focusing on GHG emission
pollution standards for transportation plans; incentivizing land use near
jobs to reduce vehicle miles traveled; developing a clean trucking strategy
and vehicle standards post 2025; looking at air quality standard for indirect
sources of GHG; and expanding public transit.
11:46:27 AM  
Director Toor talked
about the passage of Senate Bill 21-260, including the investment of $724
million in charging infrastructure.  He talked about three new enterprises
that will create charging infrastructure; provide incentives to fleet electrification;
and electrify public transit.  He also mentioned that $1.2 billion
will be required over the next decade by government, private entities,
and public transit to meet goals for infrastructure.  Director Toor
talked about the  removal of obstacles to transportation electrification
and requiring utilities to file transportation electrification plans with
the passage of Senate Bill19-077.

11:55:40 AM  
Director Toor indicated
that the federal government will create new light duty vehicle GHG emission
and Cafe standards and that California will soon adopt clean air standards.
 He talked about how states may choose to adopt the California standards
or the federal Clean Air Act standards.  Director Toor talked about
zero emissions for all new vehicles by 2035.  He touched on the clean
trucking strategy and reduction of emissions from medium and heavy duty
trucks.  He presented the following strategies for clean trucking:
truck fleet turnover must accelerate to incorporate clean technology and
zero emissions; SmartWay; advanced clean truck standards; support for the
workforce; and a green procurement policy.

12:01:34 PM  
Director Lew talked
about GHG emissions and the ongoing rulemaking involving the Transportation
Commission.  She outlined that the rule will define the role of government
in transportation planning and provide more options to the public.  She
stated that the draft rule will be released on August 13, 2021, followed
by five public hearings.  Director Lew provided information about
a policy paper describes the major issues, including: how pollution reduction
is considered; the magnitude of reductions; mitigation measuresl and enforcement.
 She stated that the current transportation plan will most likely
be changed.
12:07:17 PM  
Director Lew discussed
the CDOT rule as a mechanism to reduce GHG in the transportation sector
through transportation planning organizations.    She stated
that Metropolitation Planning Organization funding will be linked to mitigating
GHG.  She also mentioned that various options will be available to
assist local organizations in meeting emissions goals and providing options
for consumers.  She stated that the GHG Roadmap outlines how emissions
will be reduced.  
12:15:04 PM  
There was a discussion
about enforcement measures related to GHG emissions in recent legislation,
as well as emissions goals in other sectors and market transformation.
 The dicussion touched on transportation choices, including mode and
type of vehicle.  Director Lew indicated that multiple strategies,
such as regulatory standards for new vehicles and emissions, could be deployed
to realize goals.  She mentioned that additional infrastructure funding
from the federal government will assist in making changes at the scale
12:18:34 PM  
Director Lew talked
about the federal government's focus on large auto companies.  CDOT
and committee members discussed comprehensive planning for transportation
and overall GHG emissions calculations.  She mentioned that several
levels of government are working together to get a handle on the various
pieces of the transportation sector.  Director Lew stated that this
is a new project for CDOT and the federal goverment is looking at Colorado
as an example to follow.
12:25:13 PM  
Fuel standards were
discussed, especially developments at the federal level, with a proposal
possible by the end of the year.  The payload of electric trucks was
also discussed, including goals surrounding fleet vehicles.  Perhaps
other government agencies, such as higher education and local schools should
be included in these goals.  Air quality issues surrounding diesel
school buses were discussed and a possible shift to electric school buses.
 There was a suggestion that the Transportation Legislation Review
Committee assist with electrification goals.  Mr. Toor shared that
Higher Education is involved in discussions with CEO on collaborations
for buildings and transportation. He suggested that  there may be
opportunities for TLRC to assist in endeavors.

12:34:13 PM  
There was a discussion
about generating electricity for vehicle charging and batteries for vehicles.
 Director Toor talked about the future of electric generation, including
electric resource plans adoptions by Colorado utility companies for an
80 percent reduction in pollution by 2030.  He explained that the
goal is to replace coal fired electric generation plants with wind and
solar, and use gas turbines for back up.  Director Toor stated that
the gas turbines will not be used often, but are essential to reliability.
 He mentioned that the goal is to have carbon free electric generation
after 2030, which will require technical and business innovations.  

He talked about innovations, including: improvements in long range battery
storage; technologies that form energies; and firm zero carbon generation,
such as modular nuclear, hydrogen, and using exess renewables energy to
hydrolize water to create green hydrogen for combustion turbines.  Director
Toor suggested that these technoligies will provide both generation and
storage.  He stated that federal investment is expected through the
infrastructure package and budget reconciliation.  Director Toor mentioned
a partnership with Eight Rivers Capital and the Southern Ute tribe to create
a 320 megawatt Allen cycle gas plant with carbon capture that may provide
 zero carbon generation to feed into utility plants.

12:42:29 PM  
Director Toor discussed
the load on the elctric grid for charging vehicles.  He referenced
two state studies which include light and heavy duty vehicles; one study
will be available later this fall.  He indicated that generally there
is a net positive benefit to the grid, especially related to light duty
vehicles since charging will take place at night.  Director Toor indicated
that there is often excess capacity at night for transmission and storage.
 He mentioned that fixed costs are spread over a larger number of
killowatt hours which should have downward pressure on rates.

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