When the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) secured one of the seven federally funded FTA grants to implement a Transit Climate Change Adaptation Pilot Program, First Environment was selected to support the initiative. As Southern California’s largest transit provider, LA Metro is planning for potential climate-related impacts to facilities and operations, providing leadership to the rest of the country in the process. The pilot project addressed integrating adaptation into the organization’s ISO 14001-certified Environmental Management System (EMS) and information management system.
First Environment worked collaboratively with LA Metro to develop a plan to address adaption to climate change and resiliency using EMS principles. The project involved integrating climate adaptation measures into the existing facility-level environmental management framework, and expanding the Environmental Information Management System (EIMS) to enable greater utility, accessibility, and tracking of climate-related environmental data.
Over the course of the contract, the adaptation plan was expanded to provide a roadmap for developing an operations-level EMS and an enterprise level EMS that incorporated adaptation. The plan provides detailed instructions to revise and augment procedures and protocols relating to the current ISO 14001 EMS. Using the principles in APTA’s “Recommended Practice: Guidelines for Climate Action Planning” as well as our vast experience with the ISO 14001 standard, First Environment assisted LA Metro in developing and incorporating existing templates, forms, and processes used throughout the agency to align the Climate Adaptation Assessment and Implementation process with the enterprise-wide EMS.
First Environment also supported LA Metro’s advance planning effort in anticipation of potential climate-related impacts to critical facilities and operations. We developed a dynamic methodology to assess assets at risk based on criticality and vulnerability of assets as well as time-sensitive indicators of climate risk. The approach was then piloted at one of the ISO 14001-certified facilities where adaptation strategies had been identified as an ongoing concern.
Finally, recognizing the impact of climate change on state of good repair, we assessed LA Metro’s current asset management tool for its potential to assist in identifying and managing climate risk, providing recommendations for its modification to support this expanded use.
These efforts provided management tools and helped insulate LA Metro’s operations and services from climate-related impacts; it also provides an example for other transit agencies seeking to implement adaptation measures.