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Transportation Conformity Highlights

June 2008

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

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Announcements

Input Requested on FHWA Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP).

On June 23, 2008 FHWA issued a Federal Register Notice on the FY2009 Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). The Notice is available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-06-23/html/E8-14135.htm. STEP is an FHWA-administered source of funding for research related to planning, environment and realty for FY2006-FY2009. Stakeholder input is required to identify the research topics that should receive priority consideration. FHWA is seeking input from all of our partners on the FY 2009 STEP Research Program. STEP will fund research, field demonstrations, technology transfer, conferences, and workshops, as well as portions of various pooled fund research efforts. Grants and cooperative agreements are possible with a 50% match. Research contracts will not require a match.

Potential research activities in Air Quality and Global Climate Change, one of the STEP research emphasis areas, include: evaluating air quality impacts such as mobile source air toxics; diesel and other particulate matter; ozone; carbon monoxide; carbon dioxide, and methane; evaluating and improving emission and dispersion models; assessing air quality "hot spots" for emissions characteristics, health impacts and regulatory purposes; identifying cost-effective emissions reduction strategies; assessing and identifying ways to reduce emissions from freight services; evaluating greenhouse gas mitigation efforts; assessing the potential impacts of climate change on transportation; and identifying more effective ways of communicating scientific and regulatory information on transportation-air. Feedback is requested by September 22, 2008. For further information regarding STEP, contact Felicia Young at felicia.young@dot.gov or visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/step/index.cfm

U.S. DOT Announces Fast Lane, the Department's new blog.The U.S.DOT has launched Fast Lane (http://www.dot.gov/blog/fastlane), an exciting new forum that provides an opportunity for Department of Transportation officials to engage in a dialogue with interested citizens, members of the transportation community, and the blogosphere about our nation's transportation system. Fast Lane will feature commentary and observations from the Secretary and Administrators, contributions by guest bloggers from outside the Department, and even breaking news.

SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Bill becomes Law.On June 6, 2008, the President signed the SAFETEA-LU technical corrections bill (H.R. 1195) into law (Public Law 110-244). The technical corrections included a number of changes that the Administration has sought to improve the implementation of SAFETEA-LU. A copy of P.L. 110-244 can be found at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-110publ244/html/PLAW-110publ244.htm

GAO Report Released: Highways and Environment: Transportation Agencies Are Acting to Involve Others in Planning and Environmental Decisions. On April 25, 2008 the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) released its report focused on involving outside groups in the planning and environmental process to the U.S. Congress. The GAO was asked to assess whether the changes the U.S. Congress envisioned in SAFETEA-LU for transportation planning and the environmental review and approval of highway projects are being effectively carried out. The full report can be found at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08512r.pdf.

Reminders

Northern Transportation and Air Quality Summit to be held August 13-15. The FHWA and EPA Regions 1, 2, and 3 are co-sponsoring the Summit along with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association, the Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative, and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. The Summit is for transportation and air quality staff at the Federal, State and local levels and others involved in transportation and air quality issues. The Summit will be held at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore. For more information, see: www.marama.org/ntaqs.

Training Opportunities

FHWA Resource Center Training Activities.

July 9 and 10 -- MOVES Workshop, Raleigh, NC. Space is limited. Please contact Jeff Houk (jeff.houk@fhwa.dot.gov) for more information.

July 15 and 16 - Project-level Air Quality Workshop, Nashville, TN. Space is limited. Please contact Mike Claggett, Michael.claggett@fhwa.dot.gov for more information.

August (date TBD) - MOBILE6.2 Webinar. Contact Mike Roberts (Michael.Roberts@dot.gov) for more information or to sign up.

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.

Contacts

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

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

Updated: 04/04/2014
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