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FHWA Updates Questions and Answers on Implementing The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. FHWA has updated a number of questions and answers about advancing projects using the funding recently provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These questions were developed to assist all state and local agencies to implement the ARRA. For more information, see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery/qandas.htm.
EPA Releases Two Guidance Documents. ; EPA released two guidance documents in January. ;Both documents are available on the FHWA website at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/conformity/policy_and_guidance/ under "EPA guidance".
(1) An Updated Guidance on Substituting and Adding Transportation Control Measures (TCMs) to Approved State Air Quality Plans. ; It provides updated guidance to state and local air quality and transportation agencies on implementing the Clean Air Act provision that establishes a streamlined process for substituting or adding TCMs to an approved state air quality plan. This document supersedes the section of the February 14, 2006 interim guidance on implementing the Clean Air Act amendments made by SAFETEA-LU that addressed this provision.
(2) Guidance for Developing Transportation Conformity State Implementation Plans. ; It provides guidance on the statutory and regulatory requirements for States to develop conformity state implementation plans. This document supersedes the November 2004 Conformity SIP Guidance and Section 7 of the Interim Guidance for Implementing the Transportation Conformity Provisions in SAFETEA-LU. ; The guidance also includes the checklist and model rule in the appendix.
EPA Directed to Review 2006 Fine Particulate Standard. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that EPA's 2006 annual fine particulate standards were, "in several respects, contrary to law and unsupported by adequately reasoned decision making." EPA retained the annual fine particulate standard at 15 micrograms per cubic meter even though EPA staff and scientific advisors had recommended it be lowered to 13 or 14 micrograms per cubic meter. ; The court also sent the Bush EPA's secondary standard for soot -- aimed at protecting human welfare -- back to the agency for reconsideration, saying EPA had acted unreasonably and contrary to the law when it was issued. For more information, see: http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/docs/common/opinions/200902/06-1410-1166572.pdf
Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University Receive EPA Grant for Air Quality Research. ;On February 10, U.S. EPA announced that it has awarded $499,512 to Georgia Tech and Emory University to develop and assess environmental indicators for mobile source impacts on air quality and health in the Atlanta, GA region. Prior analyses of air pollutant associations with health outcomes in Atlanta suggest that mobile source emission impacts are of particular interest with regard to cardiovascular disease outcomes, and that a variety of indicators can be used to assess such relationships. Georgia Tech and Emory will construct a variety of indicator sets from existing Atlanta detailed air quality and health outcome data to estimate outcomes from mobile source emissions. Funding for the grant was provided through the EPA National Center for Environmental Research's Science to Achieve Results or STAR program. For information about this grant and other grant recipients, see: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/448/records_per_page.
EPA Publication on Planning for a Sustainable Future. ;EPA Region 2 recently released a new publication: Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Guide for Local Governments. The document was prepared by graduate students at Columbia University. The document can be accessed at: http://www.epa.gov/region02/sustainability/greencommunities/.
Introduction to Transportation Conformity Course. The National Transit Institute course will be offered in Houston, TX on March 23-25, 2009. This introductory course is a two and one-half day training course. For more information and to register contact: http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.asp?CourseNumber=FP213.
What is Transportation Conformity? The FHWA Resource Center will be offering two 1-hour webinars in March to provide a brief introduction to Transportation Conformity. The webinar will answer questions on transportation conformity and the basic requirements. It is geared to those new to transportation conformity. Each session is exactly the same (and a repeat of those offered in February). To register for Tuesday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. eastern, visit: http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_reg.aspx?webConfID=16398. To register for Tuesday, March 17, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. eastern, visit http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_reg.aspx?webConfID=16399. For more information, please contact Karen Perritt at Karen.Perritt@fhwa.dot.gov or 410-962-0720. Space is limited. If we reach capacity, we will schedule additional sessions.
WEB CONFERENCE: ; Air Quality Benefit Estimation Methodologies for CMAQ Projects. ; The FHWA Resource Center will be offering a webinar ; on March 11, 2009. ; For more information, contact Mike Roberts at email@example.com.
Transportation Conformity 101. ; The FHWA Resource Center will conduct a Transportation Conformity 101 training in Montgomery, AL on March 25, 2009. Fore more information, contact Mike Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark your calendar! Southern Transportation and Air Quality Summit 2009, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Jacksonville, FL, August 25 -27, 2009. Fore more information, contact Mike Roberts at email@example.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. For further information, contact: Mike Roberts at 404-562-3928 or at Michael.Roberts@dot.gov.
HWA Resource Center Air Quality Team:
If you have any suggestions for future monthly conformity highlights, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.