23 USC 507 - Surface transportation-environmental cooperative research program

(a) In General.— 
The Secretary shall establish and carry out a surface transportation-environmental cooperative research program.
(b) Contents.— 
The program carried out under this section may include research
(1) to develop more accurate models for evaluating transportation control measures and transportation system designs that are appropriate for use by State and local governments (including metropolitan planning organizations) in designing implementation plans to meet Federal, State, and local environmental requirements;
(2) to improve understanding of the factors that contribute to the demand for transportation;

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(3) to develop indicators of economic, social, and environmental performance of transportation systems to facilitate analysis of potential alternatives;
(4) to meet additional priorities as determined by the Secretary in the strategic planning process under section 508; and
(5) to refine, through the conduct of workshops, symposia, and panels, and in consultation with stakeholders (including the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other appropriate Federal and State agencies and associations) the scope and research emphases of the program.
(c) Program Administration.— 
The Secretary shall
(1) administer the program established under this section; and
(2) ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that
(A) the best projects and researchers are selected to conduct research in the priority areas described in subsection (b)
(i) on the basis of merit of each submitted proposal; and
(ii) through the use of open solicitations and selection by a panel of appropriate experts;
(B) a qualified, permanent core staff with the ability and expertise to manage a large multiyear budget is used;

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(C) the stakeholders are involved in the governance of the program, at the executive, overall program, and technical levels, through the use of expert panels and committees; and
(D) there is no duplication of research effort between the program established under this section and the new strategic highway research program established under section 510.
(d) National Academy of Sciences.— 
The Secretary may make grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements with, the National Academy of Sciences to carry out such activities relating to the research, technology, and technology transfer activities described in subsections (b) and (c) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.