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Federal Register May 2, 2007: Proposed Rule on Transportation Conformity Amendments in SAFETEA-LU.The May 2 Federal Register included EPA's proposed conformity rule changes, which make the rule consistent with the Clean Air Act as amended by SAFETEA-LU. The proposed changes address frequency requirements for conformity, the conformity lapse grace period, streamlining of the conformity SIP requirements, and provisions on the substitution of transportation control measures in approved SIPs. The proposed rule also includes other changes including updating terms and minor clarifications to ensure the rule is consistent with other EPA and DOT regulations. Comments are due on June 1, 2007. Documents can be found at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2007-05-02/html/E7-7770.htm.
EPA Releases Demonstration Version of MOVES Model.EPA is requesting comments on a new demonstration version of the MOVES model for highway vehicles. EPA is currently developing MOVES as an eventual replacement to the MOBILE6.2 model and the NONROAD model. The new MOVES Demo includes the major software features planned for the future MOVES model and provides an excellent opportunity for modelers to start learning to use the advanced features of the MOVES model and to provide feedback to EPA as work on the MOVES model continues. Instructions for downloading MOVES Demo are available on the web at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/index.htm.
EPA Releases Final Ozone/PM2.5/Regional Haze Modeling Guidance.On April 17, EPA announced the release of its final version of the ozone/PM2.5/regional haze modeling guidance. The guidance addresses many aspects of modeling to develop attainment demonstrations for ozone, PM2.5 and regional haze. The final ozone guidance has been incorporated into the final PM2.5 and Regional Haze guidance into a single, 253-page document. The document and supporting materials are available from EPA's SCRAM website at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/scram/guidance_sip.htm.
EPA Proposes New Guidelines for HOV Exemptions. On May 17 EPA proposed criteria for certifying vehicles as clean and energy efficient to guide states that choose to allow such vehicles on high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, even when those vehicles have only one occupant. The proposal was required by SAFETEA-LU and is designed to spur the purchase and use of vehicles that are better for the environment and energy security. EPA will accept comment for 30 days beginning when the proposal is published in the Federal Register. For more information, see: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/ld-hwy.htm.
Correction to April Highlights: The April Highlights included an error in the schedule for implementation of the 24-hour PM2.5 standard. The correct information is included below:
EPA Releases Guidance on Transportation Conformity and the Revised 24-hour PM2.5 Standard.On April 16 EPA released guidance on the implementation of the revised 24-hour PM2.5 standard. The guidance indicates that the 1997 24-hour PM2.5 standards apply until one year after the effective designation date under the new 24-hour PM2.5 standard (the annual PM2.5 standard was not revised in the October 2006 final rule). PM2.5 designations pursuant to the October 2006 final rule are planned for December 2009 with designations effective April 2010. This would mean that conformity for the new PM2.5 24-hour would apply in 2011. The guidance does not address the October 2006 revisions to the PM10 standards, which will be addressed by EPA in the future. The guidance memo is posted at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/policy.htm.
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@dot.gov.
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.
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FHWA Resource Center Air Quality Team Contacts: