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Environmental Compliance & Sustainability Department

Metro’s Environmental Compliance & Sustainability Department (ECSD) is focused on minimizing the environmental, social, and financial impacts from the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the agency’s facilities and operations, as well as procurement of its products and services.

The ECSD team is dedicated to the implementation of projects related to energy conservation, efficient water use, recycling, waste minimization, improved fueling operations, vehicle emissions reduction and more by considering the cost-effectiveness and life cycle of impacted products, activities, and projects.

These projects fall under three main categories: Resource Management, Climate and Environment.

ECSD has established a comprehensive measuring and reporting process for Metro’s environmental related efforts and activities. Since 2009, we have published an annual Sustainability Report with information on the agency’s sustainability progress.

Air Quality

  • Green Construction Policy: Adopted in August 2011 to reduce harmful emissions from construction equipment used in building transportation projects.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Toxic Air Emissions Reduction: We are working with other Metro stakeholders to track GHG and toxic air emissions, develop and implement innovative technologies, and ensure equipment compliance with existing regulations while generating carbon credits for future carbon market transactions. We also work with Metro Corporate safety in ensuring air quality and hazardous materials emissions compliance for all Metro facilities and equipment.


  • Efficiency Projects: Water saving activities reduce water consumption by 4.3 million gallons a year.
  • Divisions 9 & 18: Recycled water systems have been established through the installation of steam bays.
  • Division 3: A reclaimed water line was installed to channel reclaimed water back into the LADWP main water line.
  • Water Action Plan : Adopted by the Board in 2010 to analyze water use trends at Metro facilities and better understand the relationship between current practices, equipment and water use.
  • Drought Awareness Board Motion: Please see the Water Resources tab for water consumption infographics at our major facilities.


Alternative Energy

  • Renewable Energy Policy : Outlines a goal for the agency to use 13% more renewable energy than the baseline amount (20%) by 2020.
  • Solar Panel Installation: Metro has more than 2.1 MW solar power generation capabilities at our facilities, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in electricity costs. The agency’s Services Support Center solar installation is the largest solar panel installation at a transit agency in the U.S.
  • Renewable Resource Exploration : We are committed to exploring emerging technologies such as Wayside Energy Storage Substations to capture braking energy from trains and wind turbines to capture wind energy for use in subway tunnels.
  • Lighting Retrofits : Metro has completed lighting retrofits for four divisions, and retrofitted the Red Line Tunnel with LED lighting fixtures.
  • Energy Conservation & Management Plan : Adopted by the Board in 2011 to guide energy use for Metro in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
  • Electric Vehicles Project : We are installing Electric Vehicle chargers at five of our park and ride lots across the County.


  • Desk Side Recycling: Implemented in 2009 to increase the agency’s recycling efforts. In 2011, 41% of solid waste was diverted to recycling.
  • Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling & Reuse Policy : Passed in 2007 and requires Metro to give preference to recyclable/recycled materials used in construction when feasible. Metro will only use landfills/recycling facilities that comply with federal, state and local regulations.

Climate Response

In order to ensure that Metro's bus and rail service operate consistently and reliably, ECSD is preparing the agency for severe weather events and potential future climate changes in the Los Angeles area. The climate program currently addresses three key avenues to reduce Metro’s environmental impact:

1. Mitigation: Taking actions to reduce the long-term impacts and stressors from climate change.

The most prevalent approach for climate change mitigation is greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. On behalf of Metro, ECSD inventories GHG emissions resulting from operations and is working to reduce these emissions.

  • GHG Accounting: ECSD calculates the annual GHG emissions created by Metro’s operations. This has helped us target strategies for further reducing emissions.
  • GHG Emissions Cost Effectiveness Study : Completed in 2010, this study explores the costs and impacts of strategies to reduce agency emissions.

2. Adaptation: Taking actions to manage the eventual (or unavoidable) impacts or stressors of climate change.

  • Climate Action & Adaptation Plan : Adopted in 2012, the CAAP provides Metro with mitigation and adaptation strategies for operating in a changing environment.
  • FTA Climate Adaptation Pilot : ECSD concluded its study as one of five public transportation agencies involved in a FTA Pilot Program to implement and operationalize climate adaptation at the agency.
  • Climate Vulnerability Assessment : This assessment evaluates the potential system-wide risks to specific climate stressors (extreme heat, wind, storm surge and wildfires) and provides a framework for the agency to assess potential climatic impacts to assets across its network.

3. Resiliency: The ability of a system to respond to threats and changing conditions by resisting damage, recovering quickly and continuing to provide its essential services.

While the term “resiliency” may be new to Metro, many major components of this work are already an essential part of the agency’s operations:

  1. Continually examining Metro’s system
  2. Setting priorities for maintenance
  3. Evaluating new purchases to supplement Metro’s bus and rail fleet
    • Resiliency Indicator Framework Report : The indicators are designed to provide a mechanism through which Metro can measure and prioritize the necessary actions to ensure that our assets and networks are resilient in the face of climate change and the evolving frequency of extreme weather events.

These are all elements that impact how well the agency can respond to changing conditions, and recover quickly to continue to provide its core services. Currently, Metro is exploring the use of metrics to evaluate its level of resiliency, as well as actions it can take to better prepare for future changes.

ECSD is the agency authority on issues related to water quality and usage, fuel, energy, and waste. The department actively works to minimize potential environmental impacts resulting from the planning, construction and operation of one of the largest and fastest growing transportation systems in the nation.

  • Environmental Management System: Metro’s Red and Purple Line rail yard recently became the first major rail maintenance facility in the nation to receive ISO 14001 Certification for its environmental management system (EMS). The agency is in the process of implementing EMS agency-wide over the next several years.
  • Energy Efficient Buildings: Five buildings have been certified to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver or higher including Metro headquarters and several transportation and maintenance buildings. We have committed to build all new buildings over 10,000 square feet to LEED Silver standard into the future.
  • Sustainability/Environmental Training: ECSD develops environmental and sustainability training for Metro employees and offers this training through the Environmental Institute.
  • Storm Water and Industrial Wastewater: We oversee the development of Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP) and, as required, Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plans (SUSMP) for facilities, construction sites, storage areas, and all Metro property. We prepare and maintain all stormwater and industrial wastewater permits agency-wide.
  • Site Remediation: We also provide site remediation support for Metro owned properties including:
    • Groundwater Contamination/Remediation
    • Soil Remediation/Removal
    • Lead/Asbestos Analysis and Abatement
  • Green Construction Initiative: Metro is committed to using greener, less polluting construction equipment and vehicles, and will implement best practices to reduce harmful emissions in all construction projects performed on Metro properties and rights-of-way . We are assisting the region to consider the use of such types of equipment by providing important and relevant green construction equipment-related information .

Metro has been on the forefront of water reduction efforts for more than a decade. Since 2003, we’ve implemented many strategies across our agency to reduce water use in our operations and construction activities, most extensively along the Orange Line and Orange Line Extension.

The below graphs highlight our overall water consumption by major facility and by month, and reflect Utility Billing Data information from January 2014 to June 2015. For more information, please see our fact sheet .

Metro Water Consumption by Major Facility

Metro Facility 2014
(1000 gallons)
Jan–June 2015
(1000 gallons)
Division 9 19,419 7,692
Union Station Gateway 19,286 5,969
Division 7 11,107 4,437
Division 10 10,879 3,149
Division 5 9,933 4,345
Division 15 8,564 4,970
Division 2 7,561 3,195
Division 1 7,524 3,590
Division 8 6,540 1,834
Division 18 6,314 2,843
Central Maintenance Facility 6,176 2,697
Division 20 4,956 1,660
Division 11 4,936 2,255
Division 3 3,799 1,963
Rail Operations Center 3,194 1,350
Division 6 2,521 1,351
Division 21 2,325 1,228
Division 22 1,579 907
Division 4 817 438
Total 137,430 55,874

Click here to download the chart and table as a PDF.

Metro’s Water Consumption from Major Facilities

Month Water Consumption
(Million Gallons)
Jan 2014 12.7
Feb 2014 12.1
Mar 2014 11.3
Apr 2014 11.7
May 2014 12.3
June 2014 11.4
July 2014 11.3
Aug 2014 11.6
Sept 2014 10.6
Oct 2014 11.0
Nov 2014 11.6
Dec 2014 9.8
Jan 2015 10.4
Feb 2015 10.7
Mar 2015 9.8
Apr 2015 9.1
May 2015 8.4
June 2015 7.6

Click here to download the chart and table as a PDF.

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