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Transportation Conformity Highlights

January 2007

Prepared by the Office of Natural and Human Environment Federal Highway Administration

Announcements

Gloria Shepherd named Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment and Realty. On February 16, 2007, the FHWA Administrator, Rick Capka, announced that Gloria M. Shepherd will assume the duties of Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty. Previously Gloria currently served as Director, Office of Planning, where she was the FHWA's principal advocate for metropolitan and statewide planning and programs. Gloria joined FHWA in 1999 as a career member of the Senior Executive Service. Prior to joining FHWA, she held key positions with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). She served as Staff Director of MDOT's Transportation Solutions Group and Deputy Director, Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering. She also served as Chief of Staff at the New York State Department of Transportation. Gloria has earned several educational degrees, including a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from Albany Law School of Union University and is a member of the New York State Bar. In addition, she has earned Doctorate, Master's, and Bachelor's Degrees of Arts.

DOT Releases Final Statewide and Metropolitan Planning Rule.On February 14, 2007 the DOT released its Final Rule on statewide and metropolitan planning. The Final Rule takes effect on March 16, 2007. This is the first update of the rule in 13 years and incorporates changes that were included in the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21 Century (TEA-21) and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The rule includes key new provisions on fiscal constraint, transportation planning and project development and NEPA, and also discusses the phase in schedule for compliance with the new regulatory provisions included in the Final Rule. The rule is available at: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/07-493.htm.

FHWA Research Report on Multi-Pollutant Emission Benefits of Transportation Strategies.In late December, FHWA published a recently completed research project on the multi-pollutant benefits of transportation strategies. The purpose of the report is to help transportation practitioners consider appropriate transportation strategies for reducing transportation-related emissions of concern. Specifically, this report provides a compendium of traditional and innovative transportation-related control strategies, and for each type of strategy, identifies effects on the following seven pollutants: CO, PM-10, PM-2.5, NOx, VOCs, SOx, and NH3. Strategies included are those that can be implemented by policy makers at a state or local level. Please see: environment/air_quality/conformity/research/mpe_benefits/.

EPA Completes Second Step in Review of Ground-Level Ozone. On January 30, 2007 the EPA announced the recommendations in the "final ozone staff paper" include a strengthening of the primary ozone standard and the setting of a secondary standard. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to periodically review its air quality standards to better protect public health. EPA last updated the ozone standards in 1997. EPA recently changed the process for reviewing the National Ambient Air Quality Standards to streamline future reviews to ensure the agency meets its Clean Air Act five-year deadlines for review. Information on these recommendations, including the final staff paper and supporting documents can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/ozone/s_o3_cr_sp.html.

EPA Releases Changes to AP-42 Methodology for Determining Road Dust. On October 26, 2006 EPA released changes to the AP-42 methodology used for calculating PM2.5 re-entrained road dust emissions (AP-42). As a result of the modifications to AP-42, calculated emissions for the PM2.5 fraction of re-entrained road dust from paved and unpaved roads will be reduced by approximately 40% and 33% respectively. This new version of AP-42 is a change from the December 2003 version that EPA approved for road dust calculations in a May 19, 2004 Federal Register notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2004-05-19/html/04-11340.htm. The change to AP-42 is only an adjustment to the current methodology and does not constitute release of a new emissions factor model. Areas will be expected to begin using the revised methodology for their PM2.5 SIPs and conformity determinations as soon as possible. EPA plans to write a policy memo in the near future explaining how this AP-42 release affects SIPs and transportation conformity determinations.

FHWA Releases HPMS Reassessment Report for Comment. The Draft HPMS Reassessment Report has been released for public comment as detailed in the Federal Register on February 9. This report documents in detail various issues and proposed changes to specific HPMS data items and the associated collecting and reporting procedures based in part upon customer and data provider needs. The report would enhance and improve HPMS procedures and incorporate changing data customer needs while building a stronger partnership with the HPMS data user and provider community. Please see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/hpms.cfm.

EPA Releases Diesel Emissions Quantifier Tool. EPA has released a tool to help estimate cost-effectiveness and environmental impacts of emission reduction technologies that have been added to vehicles and equipment. The Diesel Emissions Quantifier makes estimates using specific information about a fleet, such as miles driven, fuel mileage, and others. EPA has emphasized in its materials on the Quantifier that: "The Diesel Emission Quantifier should not be used for the calculation of any emission reductions to be incorporated in a State Implementation Plan (SIP) or conformity determination." For more information see: http://cfpub.epa.gov/quantifier/index.cfm?action=fleet.edit.

NMIM Bug - Nonroad Diesel Retrofits and Gasoline Evaporative Emissions. EPA identified a problem modeling any fleet wide nonroad diesel program in NMIM2005 in the same model run where you have nonroad gasoline-fueled equipment. EPA's workaround suggestion is that the easy way to get around this problem is to always do a separate model runs for nonroad spark-ignition (gasoline, LPG, CNG) equipment versus nonroad diesel equipment whenever your NMIM model run includes any nonroad diesel retrofit program without use of a nonroad fleet information file. If you have any questions, please email to: mobile@epa.gov.

Transportation Research Board Air Quality Committee Activities. The Annual TRB meeting was held the week of January 22 in Washington, D.C. A record attendance of over 10,000 individuals registered for the meeting. The Transportation and Air Quality Committee (ADC20) hosted an all day workshop on project level conformity and three sessions. In addition, there was a poster session featuring many transportation-air quality related papers. The conference sessions were on: Impacts of Climate Change on Transportation, The Future of Hybrids, and Diesel Emission Reductions. All presentations will be available on the committee website shortly at: http://www.trbairquality.com.

Conferences

Transportation and Air Quality Committee Summer Meeting - July 9-11. 2007. The Transportation Land-Use, Development and Air Quality Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida in July 2007. This conference is co-chaired by several organizations and will be held in conjunction with the summer meeting of the Transportation and Air Quality Committee. The conference price is tentatively set at $250. For more information, see: http://www.ctre.iastate.edu/educweb/transaq/transaq2007.htm.

STAQS Conference Scheduled. The Southern Transportation and Air Quality Summit 2007 is an event sponsored by the FHWA and EPA Regions 3, 4, and 6. It will be held August 28-30, 2007 in Savannah, Georgia, at the Hilton Savannah DeSoto Hotel. The purpose of the summit is to bring together stakeholders from both the transportation and air quality communities to discuss current and coming regulatory environment, technologies and current practices vital to the field of air quality and transportation. The summit is geared to practitioners involved with public agencies at all levels. A host of speakers from within the southern and eastern regions will present a number of key topics, best practices and latest information vital to transportation, planning, and air quality professionals. Contact: Mike Roberts, 404-562-3928, Michael.Roberts@fhwa.dot.gov.

Training Opportunities

National Transit Institute Course: Introduction to Transportation Conformity. The NTI course, Introduction to Transportation Conformity has been updated to reflect SAFETEA-LU changes and new information about PM2.5 requirements. The course will be offered in Raleigh, NC on March 27-29, 2007. For information see: http://www.ntionline.com/.

FHWA Resource Center Training Activities. FHWA's Resource Center Air Quality Technical Services Team is available to offer air quality-related training opportunities and information is available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/airquality/courses.cfm. The following specific training opportunities are currently scheduled for this spring. Mobile Source Air Toxics Workshop - March 6-7, Atlanta, GA; Mobile6.2 Modeling Workshop - April 3-4, Montpelier, VT. For further information, contact: Mike Roberts at 404-562-3928 or at Michael.Roberts@dot.gov.

If you have any suggestions for future monthly conformity highlights, please email: ssiwek@aol.com.

FHWA Resource Center Air Quality Team Contacts:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/airquality/index.cfm.

Updated: 11/03/2014
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