FHWA Seeks Nominations for 2007 Environmental Excellence Awards. The FHWA is seeking nominations for its 2007 Environmental Excellence Awards program. The biennial awards program recognizes outstanding transportation projects, processes, and people who incorporate environmental stewardship into the planning and project development processes using FHWA funding sources. Nominations are accepted from anyone and can be in any of 12 categories including air quality improvement, environmental leadership and environmental research. Nominations are due August 15, 2006.
EPA Announces Two New NMIM Problems. On June 13, EPA announced two problems with the NMIM2005 that users may encounter and have not previously been described. The first is a code error affecting NMIM's Nonroad User-Specified Fleet function. The second is an error in the SCC Table of the NMIM County Database (NCD) affecting PM2.5 from nonroad diesel engines. As soon as possible, EPA will post full descriptions and workarounds as well as EPA's plans to provide fixes on its website at: www.epa.gov/otaq/nmim.htm.
FHWA Releases Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. On June 9 the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration jointly issued a proposed rule that would implement mandates of federal surface transportation authorizing statutes including the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, as well as its successor, the Safe Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). When finalized, the rule would represent the first major change in the planning regulations since they were promulgated in 1993. The proposed rule focuses on bringing the statewide and metropolitan planning regulations up to date with statutory requirements and related guidance issued since 1993. The proposed rule includes requirements related to metropolitan plan updates and conformity in air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas. Comments are due on September 7. The rule can be found at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2006-06-09/html/06-5145.htm.
EPA Releases Guidance on Diesel Retrofits. On June 9 EPA released its Guidance on Diesel Retrofits: Quantifying and Using Their Benefits in SIPs and Conformity. This guidance was prompted in part by the new language in SAFETEA-LU on the eligibility of both on-road and non-road diesel retrofit projects for CMAQ funding. The Guidance discusses how transportation agencies can fund and implement diesel retrofits and account for the emission reducing benefits of these projects in their conformity determinations or in their SIPs. The Guidance can be found at: www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/policy.htm.
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 can be found at: www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/airquality/courses.cfm.
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