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Transportation Conformity Highlights

July 2006

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

Announcements

FHWA Seeks Nominations for 2007 Environmental Excellence Awards. Air Quality Project Nominations Encouraged 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.

FHWA HPMS ReassessmentAs part of the next step in FHWA's HPMS reassessment effort, a series of web seminars has been scheduled. The purpose of these webinars is to address any remaining concerns that FHWA or the States may have in a specific issue area and to workout the details of how these data will be collected and submitted to FHWA. There will be ten webinars offered with each focusing on a specific topic. You must register for each individual webinar if you plan to attend more than one. Upon registering, you should receive separate e-mail with details on the meeting link, passcode, and instructions you may need. Register for any of these webinars on the NHI website by date/topic by clicking on the following link: http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/eventcalendar.aspx?listview=true&eventtype=registeredconference. More information on the Reassessment is available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohpi/hpms/hpmsreassessment.cfm

Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP): Section 5207 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) established the Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). The goal of the STEP is to improve understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation, planning, and the environment. STEP will be the sole source of SAFETEA-LU funds available to conduct all FHWA research on planning and environmental issues. SAFETEA-LU provides $16.875 million per year for FY2006-FY2009 to implement this new cooperative research program. Due to obligation limitations, rescissions and the over-designation of Title V Research in SAFETEA-LU, it is anticipated that approximately $11.9 million of the $16.875 million authorized will be available each year.

On March 1, 2006, FHWA issued a Federal Register notice soliciting comments on the draft implementation strategy for the STEP program. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/step/.

FHWA invites stakeholders to review the revised implementation strategy and provide suggested lines of research that may be pursued within the FY07 STEP via the STEP website at: http://knowledge.fhwa.dot.gov/cops/step.nsf/home/ (link unavailable 5/12). by September 15, 2006. The STEP Program has 4 emphasis areas: Environment, Planning, Tools to Support Planning and Environment, and Program Management and Outreach. Air Quality and Global Climate Change research focus is listed under the Environment emphasis area.

FHWA does not seek specific, detailed research proposals and discourages researchers from submitting proposals of that nature. Specific research work statements, if pursued under the STEP, would be crafted by FHWA, after careful consideration of stakeholder views.

Contacts for Air Quality and Global Climate Change research in STEP: Cecilia Ho Cecilia.Ho@dot.gov and Micahel SavonisMichael.Savonis@dot.gov

Recent Publications

FHWA/FTA Releases Proposed Guidance on SAFETEA-LU Section 6002. On June 29, FHWA/FTA released proposed guidance on how FHWA and FTA plan to implement the SAFETEA-LU Section 6002 requirements relating to Efficient Environmental Reviews for Project Decision-making. Comments are due on July 31 and the guidance may be found at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2006-06-29/html/E6-10217.htm

Outreach Opportunities on the FHWA/FTA NRPM on Statewide and Metropolitan Planning.A notice in the July 6, 2006 Federal Register outlines a national webcast and six public meetings that will be conducted over the next six weeks. The notice may be seen at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2006-07-06/html/06-6023.htm.

On Thursday, July 13, 2006 (1:00 - 3:00 PM (ET)), FHWA/FTA conducted a national webcast on the planning NPRM, hosted by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) at North Carolina State University. The webcast is available on CTE's website: http://itre.ncsu.edu/CTE/TechTransfer/Teleconferences/2006schedule.asp. In addition, FHWA and FTA have scheduled six outreach events to provide an overview of the planning NPRM: Wednesday, July 19, 2006: Atlanta, Georgia (1:00 - 4:00 PM (ET)); Friday, July 21, 2006: New York, New York (9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (ET)); Monday, July 24, 2006: Kansas City, Missouri (1:00 - 4:00 PM (CT)); Tuesday, August 1, 2006: San Francisco, California (9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PT)); Monday, August 7, 2006: Chicago, Illinois (1:00 - 4:00 PM (CT)); and Wednesday, August 9, 2006: Cambridge, Massachusetts (1:00 - 4:00 PM (ET)). For additional information, please contact Rob Ritter, Planning Capacity Building Team Leader, at (202) 493-2139 or Larry Anderson, Planning Oversight and Stewardship Team Leader, at (202) 366-2374.

Training Opportunities

Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative (MDC) and Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Association (MARAMA) Diesel Emission Workshop.A two-day training session will be held on August 21-22, 2006 in Philadelphia, PA to teach participants how to calculate emission reduction benefits from various diesel reduction strategies and how to use the reductions in transportation conformity and SIPs. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. on August 21 and end at noon on August 22. The draft agenda and registration information can be seen at: http://www.marama.org or at http://www.dieselmidatlantic.org, under the events section.

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.

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

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

Updated: 07/10/2014
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