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Transportation Conformity Highlights

June 2010

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

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Announcements and Recent Events

FHWA Welcomes New Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Team Member. Mark Glaze has started his new position as an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Office of Natural Environment. Mark comes to FHWA with extensive experience working on air quality and transportation issues with the Delaware Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Mark's contact information: Mark.Glaze@dot.gov or 202-366-4053.

FHWA Air Quality Staff Published in EM Magazine: The article "Implications of the MOVES2010 Model on Mobile Source Emission Estimates" authored by Michael Claggett, an air quality modeling specialist with FHWA's Resource Center Air Quality Team appears in the July 2010 issue of EM Magazine, a publication of the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA; www.awma.org). This article provides a variety of results obtained with the MOVES2010 model (employing the original database, version 20091221) and for several cases, comparisons are made with the MOBILE6.2 model (version 24-Sep-2003). To obtain copies and reprints, please contact A&WMA directly at 1-412-232-3444. For more information on the article, contact Mike Claggett at Michael.Claggett@dot.gov.

FHWA Releases Freight and Air Quality Handbook. The Office of Freight Management and Operations and the Office of Natural Environment announced the availability of a handbook on freight and air quality issues. Strategies, and funding opportunities to reduce emissions from freight, especially trucks, are highlighted. Additionally, the challenges in meeting the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS present states and MPOs with the opportunities to identify cost-effective ways to reduce PM2.5 are presented. For more information, see:http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publications.htm#fa

AASHTO Releases State of the Practice Report on Interagency Consultation. On June 26 AASHTO released a report on the air quality interagency consultation process and efforts to streamline such practices. The State-of-The-Practice Report was developed to help transportation agencies more effectively integrate transportation and air quality planning and project development activities. For more information, see: http://environment.transportation.org/pdf/communities_of_practice/aq%20interagency%20coordination%20report%206%2021%2010%20final.pdf.

TRB Environment and Energy Research Conference Presentations Available. The 2010 TRB Environment and Energy Research Conference was held in Raleigh, North Carolina from June 6-9, 2010. Sessions focused on energy, air quality climate change, sustainability, and livability. The conference research workshop results and presentations are available at: http://www.cte.ncsu.edu/cte/EEConference.

EPA Holds Webinar on Quantitative Hot-Spot Analyses Draft Guidance. On June 30 the EPA conducted a webinar on the recently released draft guidance for quantitative hot-spot analysis in PM2.5 and PM10 areas. A similar webinar was held for California Statewide Conformity Working Group on June 23. To see the slides used in the California Webinar, go to: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/env/air/state_cwg/OtherInfo/Presentation_CAstatewidemeeting_DraftPMhot-spotguidance.pdf.

EPA Releases Analyses of Air Quality Testing at 63 Schools in 22 States. EPA recently released information on air toxics monitoring around schools in urban areas and near large industrial facilities. This is part of a project announced in March 2009 to ensure the protection of children from air toxics exposures at schools. The two analyses announced on June 10 conclude that in both cases (Pittsboro, Indiana, and Minneapolis, MN) that levels of the pollutants monitored were below levels of short and long term concern. EPA will release additional information as more monitoring and analysis are complete. For more information, see: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/.

Reminders

EPA Released Draft Guidance for Quantitative Hot-Spot Analyses in PM2.5 and PM10 Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas. EPA recently released draft guidance on how to meet quantitative hot-spot analyses requirements in PM2.5 and PM10 nonattainment and maintenance areas. Comments are due on July 19, 2010. The draft guidance discusses how to conduct quantitative hot-spot analyses with the MOVES2010 model and, in California, with EMFAC2007. The quantitative hot-spot analyses requirements would apply, in PM2.5 and PM10 areas, to new highway and transit projects that are of air quality concern which means that the project would involve significant diesel truck or bus traffic. The process for conducting the analyses is shown in a flow chart included in the draft guidance fact sheet. Once the guidance is finalized there will be a grace period until the quantitative requirements become effective. Until that time, the existing qualitative guidance would continue to apply. For a copy of the guidance and other information see: www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/policy.htm.

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.

In addition, FY 2010 Supplementary Tables - Apportionments Pursuant to the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010 - were released on May 28th. Information on CMAQ funds authorized for FY2010 and apportioned to the States can be found in these tables. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510727.htm.

Any questions related to the CMAQ program should be directed to Mike Koontz at (202)366-2076 or Michael.Koontz@dot.gov

2006 PM2.5 Nonattainment Areas Must Demonstrate Conformity by December 14, 2010. EPA published the Transportation Conformity Rule PM2.5 and PM10 Amendments in the Federal Register on March 24, 2010. The rule includes requirements for demonstrating conformity in 2006 PM2.5 areas, updates the baseline year to 2008 for interim tests in 2006 PM2.5 nonattainment and maintenance areas, discusses which budgets should be used in PM10 areas to demonstrate conformity now that the PM10 annual standard has been revoked, and clarifies that federally funded or approved highway and transit projects in PM2.5, PM10 and CO nonattainment and maintenance areas must not delay timely attainment or achievement of other interim milestones. The rule and additional information can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/conf-regs.htm.

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 (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-03-02/pdf/2010-4312.pdf). 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. EPA did not approve the use of MOVES2010 for project-level transportation conformity hot-spot analyses, which will be addressed in a future Federal Register notice. Guidance on implementing MOVES2010 for SIP development and conformity purposes can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/policy.htm. The MOVES2010 model and supporting materials can be found on the MOVES website: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/index.htm.

Upcoming Events

Register Now for the Northern Transportation Air Quality Summit (NTAQS). NTAQS 2010 will be held August 24 - 26 at the Cambridge Marriott in Cambridge, Massachusetts. NTAQS, like the Southern Transportation Air Quality Summit (STAQS), is held every two years to discuss regional air quality issues. Topics such as conformity, the CMAQ Program, modeling and analysis associated with conformity and project analysis, revision of air quality standards, climate change, and other issues relating to air quality, the environment and planning are covered. The FHWA and EPA Regions 1, 2, and 3 are co-sponsoring the Summit, along with the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management and other regional and local organizations. For questions, contact Kevin Black at 410-962-2177 or Kevin.Black@dot.gov. For additional information on NTAQS 2010 or to register, please visit http://www.nescaum.org/. Registration must be completed by July 23, 2010

Training Opportunities

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.

Contacts

FHWA HQ Transportation Conformity Team:

FHWA Resource Center Air Quality Team:
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: 08/09/2012
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