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Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Highlights

January 2011

Prepared by the Office of Natural and Human Environment Federal Highway Administration - Publication Number FHWA-HEP-11-012

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Announcements and Recent Events

Revised AP-42 Paved Roads Section Available and Start of Conformity Grace Period. On February 4, 2011, EPA announced in the Federal Register the start of a 2-year grace period for the 2011 AP-42 method for regional conformity emissions analysis. In January, EPA revised the equation used to predict PM emissions and now allows for the calculation of estimated emissions from the road surface excluding emissions from engine exhaust, tire wear and brake wear. On average, EPA estimates that PM10 emissions predicted using the revised equation will result in estimates of lower emissions than predicted by the 2006 equation. At the end of the grace period, (i.e., after February 4, 2013), 2011 AP-42 method is required to be used in regional conformity analyses in PM10 nonattainment and maintenance areas and any PM2.5 nonattainment and maintenance areas where the EPA regional administrator or the state air quality agency determined that reentrained road dust is a significant contributor to the area's PM2.5 problem, or if the area has a PM2.5 motor vehicle emissions budget that includes reentrained road dust. For more information, go to: AP 42 Revisions.

EPA Webinar Wednesday, February 9: Overview of EPA's Quantitative PM Hot-Spot Guidance. EPA hosted a Webinar on February 9 of EPA's final guidance document "Transportation Conformity Guidance for Quantitative Hot-spot Analyses in PM2.5 and PM10 Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas," released December 2010. This overview was targeted at those who will be involved in developing or reviewing hot-spot analyses of transportation projects in PM areas, or those interested in an introduction to the material in the guidance. EPA is also planning a three-day training course on hot-spot analysis. More information will be available at: EPA Website.

EPA Proposed to Retain Carbon Monoxide (CO) NAAQS. EPA recently completed a court-ordered review of the carbon monoxide (CO) standards and has concluded they are strong enough to protect public health. On January 28, EPA proposed to keep the current standard for CO and took action to gather additional monitoring data to assist in future reviews of the NAAQS. The current standard is 9 parts per million(ppm) measured over 8 hours and 35 ppm measured over 1 hour. Comments on EPA's proposal will be due 60 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register. For more information, see: Proposed CO NAAQS.

Basic Guide to Transportation Conformity Updated. FHWA has recently completed an update of the Basic Guide to Transportation Conformity for State and Local Officials. The new Guide can be downloaded from the FHWA website at Basic Guide [PDF].

EPA Approves MOVES/EMFAC for Hot-Spot Analyses and Announces Final PM2.5, PM10 and CO Quantitative Modeling Guidance. On December 20, EPA announced in the Federal Register its approvals for using MOVES for PM and CO hot-spot analyses (and EMFAC for PM hot-spot analyses in California) with a 2-year conformity grace period. EPA released final guidance for conducting quantitative analyses using the MOVES model in PM2.5, PM10 and CO nonattainment and maintenance areas and in California, the EMFAC model in PM2.5 and PM10 nonattainment and maintenance areas. To access the Federal Register notice, guidance documents, and fact sheets, go to: EPA's Project Level Conformity.

Upcoming Workshop on Addressing Multiple Pollutants in the NAAQS Review Process. On February 22-24, 2011 EPA and the Health Effects Institute are hosting a workshop on the challenges and opportunities related to the evaluation of health risks associated with exposure to various mixtures of air pollutants in the NAAQS review process. The workshop is being held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. More information is available at: multi-pollutant workshop.

EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program Funding Opportunity. EPA is seeking proposals for funding to better understand the hazards of extreme weather events related to climate change on air quality and water quality. Specifically, EPA is seeking proposals to develop assessments, tools and techniques, and demonstration of innovative technologies to provide information and capacity to adequately prepare for climate-induced changes in extreme weather events in the context of air and water quality management. Applications are due on April 18, 2011. For more information, see: STAR Program.

New Study Shows Health Effects at 60ppb Ground-Level Ozone. A recently published study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care Medicine, provides strong evidence that supports a tighter ozone standard. The study was conducted by EPA scientists and researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The study can be found at: Lung Function Study.

TRB Activities. During the January 23-27 Annual Transportation Research Board Conference, several activities were hosted by the Transportation and Air Quality Committee (ADC20). They included:

MOVES Model User Group for Project Sponsors. On January 18 and 20, FHWA sponsored two Web conferences for MOVES users. One session focused on project-level analysis for project sponsors and the other Web conference focused on Regional Analysis issues with MOVES. The proceedings of these Web conferences will be made available soon on AMPO's Air Quality Workgroup website at. Air Quality Workgroup.

Reminders

EPA Issues Draft School Site Screening Recommendations. On November 17, EPA released a draft framework for environmental considerations in new school construction in an effort to minimize health risks due to contaminants at school sites. The guidelines address air, soil and water pollution as well as contaminants related to national EPA Superfund sites. EPA's guidelines are advisory and will remain so after EPA finalizes the guidelines after the February 18 deadline for public comment. For more information, see: school siting guidelines.

EPA Releases Revised MOVES2010a Installation Suite. U.S. EPA has revised the MOVES 2010a Installation Suite to improve model run time and to make it easier to install MOVES. The revised installation suite includes a number of improvements and also upgrades the MOVES default database. No changes were made to calculations in the MOVES code or to the content of the default database. This revision is not a new emissions model for the purposes of conformity or SIP development nor does it change the grace period for regional conformity analysis which ends March 2, 2012, before use of the model is required. The suite is available at: EPA's website.

Continuation of the CMAQ 100 percent Federal Share Flexibility and FY 2010 Supplementary Tables are Available. The Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007 amended Title 23 to provide a temporary full Federal share (at 100 percent) for CMAQ projects obligated in Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009. This increased Federal share will continue to apply to CMAQ projects during the most recent SAFETEA-LU extension. In practice, the Federal share flexibility is continued as it was on September 30, 2009, when SAFETEA-LU expired. Any questions related to the CMAQ program should be directed to Mike Koontz, Michael.Koontz@dot.gov (202)366-2076.

MOVES2010's 24-Month Grace Period for Regional Conformity Analysis Started on March 2, 2010. The Federal Register notice includes EPA's announcement of the approval and availability of MOVES2010 for SIPs and regional emissions analyses in all states except California. The notice also starts the two-year transportation conformity grace period that ends on March 2, 2012, after which MOVES2010 is required to be used for new regional emissions analysis for transportation conformity. Guidance on implementing MOVES2010 for SIP development and conformity purposes can be found at EPA's website. The MOVES2010 model and supporting materials can be found on the MOVES website.

EPA Started 24-month MOVES/EMFAC Grace Period for Hot-Spot Analyses on December 20, 2010. On December 20 EPA announced in the Federal Register its approvals for using MOVES for PM and CO hot-spot analyses (and EMFAC for PM hot-spot analyses) with a 2-year conformity grace period. EPA also released final guidance for conducting quantitative analyses using the MOVES model in PM2.5, PM10 and CO nonattainment and maintenance areas and in California, the EMFAC model in PM2.5 and PM10 nonattainment and maintenance areas. To access the Federal Register notice, guidance documents, and fact sheets, go to: EPA's Project Level Conformity website.

Training Opportunities

Introduction to Transportation Conformity. The National Transit Institute sponsored Introduction to Transportation Conformity course will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah this spring and in Washington, D.C. on March 23-25 at the U.S. DOT building. This two and one-half day introductory course has been recently updated to include MOVES and other developments since earlier this year. To register, go to: NTI Website.

Transportation Conformity Training Courses. FHWA is sponsoring two-day Introduction to Transportation Conformity training course in response to requests from various states. The course will be offered in Carson City, NV on March 1 and 2 and in Springfield, Missouri on March 7 and 8. For more information, please contact Sarah Siwek, FHWA's contractor for these courses at ssiwek@aol.com.

Conformity 101 Training Available On-Line. FHWA has made a short course titled "What is Conformity" available on-line. This course is intended for transportation and air quality practitioners who are new to transportation conformity, those looking for a refresher, or others who only need a brief overview of the rule. The session is approximately 27 minutes long. Handouts are available for download at the same site. This course can be accessed on FHWA's website.

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 the Resource Center website. For further information, contact: Mike Roberts at 404-562-3928.

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EPA and FHWA Offer Two-Day MOVES2010 Training Course. EPA and FHWA have jointly developed a two-day training course on the MOVES2010 model. This is a detailed, two-day, hands-on course geared toward state and local agency staff that will use MOVES2010 for developing SIPs and conformity analyses. For additional information on the two-day training sessions, visit EPA's MOVES training website. The materials needed for the course are posted on the MOVES training site.

EPA and DOT Develop a Multi-day Hot-spot Analysis Training Course. This training course will be developed in accordance with EPA's "Transportation Conformity Guidance for Quantitative Hot-spot Analyses in PM2.5 and PM10 Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas". This technical, hands-on course is geared toward state and local agency staff and will focus on using emission models (including EPA's MOVES model) and air quality models (AERMOD and CAL3QHCR) for quantitative PM hot-spot analyses. Additional information with dates and locations for the in-person model training will be provided as they become available, as well as any additional EPA webinars that are scheduled for implementing the guidance. Please contact conformity-hotspot@epa.gov to suggest a location or express interest in hosting the hands-on modeling course. For additional information, visit EPA's Project Level Conformity website.

Contacts

FHWA HQ Transportation Conformity Team:

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

Past issues are available at FHWA's website.If you have any suggestions for future monthly conformity highlights, please email: ssiwek@aol.com.

Updated: 04/04/2014
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