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Transportation Conformity Highlights

July 2008

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

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Announcements

EPA Releases Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM).

On July 30, 2008 the U.S. EPA released an ANPRM for review and comment on analyses and policy alternatives regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) effects and regulations under the Clean Air Act. Comments are due November 28, 2008. This notice includes both the Preamble to the proposed rulemaking that provides voluminous detail on issues that EPA is seeking input on, and observations and issues raised by other federal agencies during the interagency review process related to the ANPRM. EPA is seeing comment on both to help them frame the issue going forward. For more information, see: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-07-30/html/E8-16432.htm.

EPA Approves TCM Substitution in Massachusetts SIP. On July 31, 2008 the EPA approved a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This revision changes completion dates of delayed transit projects, provides interim deadlines for projects, maintains requirements for interim emission reduction offsets in the event a project becomes delayed, modifies the project substitution process, revises the list of required transit projects, and expands public participation in and oversight of the projects. The intended effect of the action is to substitute specific transit projects and 1,000 park and ride spaces to replace certain transit projects currently approved into the SIP, and approve modifications to the delay and substitution procedures for transit projects. For more information, see: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-07-31/pdf/E8-17595.pdf.

TRB: Tools of the Trade Conference for Small and Medium Sized Communities. TRB is cosponsoring the 11th National 'Tools of the Trade' Conference on September 17-19, 2008, in Portland, Oregon. The conference is designed to provide ready-to-use, economical, and practical techniques for transportation professionals in small (under 50,000) and medium sized (50,000 to 250,000) communities. Early registration ends August 15, 2008. An Air Quality Workshop conducted by FHWA staff will be held on September 17. For more information see: http://www.regonline.com/Checkin.asp?EventId=628864.

Proceedings Available - October 2007 Particulate Matter Hot-Spot Analysis Peer Exchange Meeting.On October 23-24, 2007 subject matter experts on particulate matter (PM) gathered at Allerton Park in Monticello, Illinois to exchange ideas and experiences in project level hotspot analysis of PM, including monitoring and compliance. The attendees included staff from five Midwestern state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations, the U.S. EPA, the Illinois EPA, University faculty, and the FHWA.

The proceedings of the peer exchange are now available. In general, the peer exchange participants are concerned with making sure their new transportation projects are in compliance with the recently released U.S. EPA regulations for performing PM hot-spot analyses. The meeting offered the attendees opportunities to identify hot-spot requirements, discuss PM modeling uncertainties and monitoring of PM, and learn about how other states are documenting the analyses in reports. Outcomes of the meeting included documented challenges in practice, research needs, and practical guidelines which will be useful to all state DOTs. For a copy of the proceedings, see http://www.ict.uiuc.edu/Publications/report%20files/FHWA-ICT-08-015.pdf

EPA Extends Comment Period on the Proposed Lead Standards.On May 1, 2008, EPA proposed the strengthening of the lead standards to reflect the latest scientific information about lead and human health. EPA extended the deadline for public comments from July 18, 2008, to August 4, 2008. Final standards will be issued by October 15, 2008. For more information on these proposed standards, see: http://www.epa.gov/air/lead/.

Vacancy Announcement

FHWA's Office of Natural and Human Environment is seeking an Environmental Protection Specialist (GS 13/14) to join the Agency's Washington DC Headquarters office. The employee selected for this position will be responsible for providing state of the practice technical advice on air quality and emissions modeling as related to transportation conformity, greenhouse gases and climate change, transportation planning, and project development analyses. The position will be closed on August 27, 2008. For more information visit: http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=74594175

Reminders

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. Potential research activities in Air Quality and Global Climate Change, one of the STEP research emphasis areas, include numerous possible research topics relating to transportation and air quality, including climate change issues. 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

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 first afternoon of the Summit, August 13, a MOVES workshop will be offered. The Summit will be held at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore. For more information, see: www.marama.org/ntaqs.

Training Opportunities

August 13, 2008 - MOVES Workshop will be held as part of the NTAQS Summit in Baltimore, MD. For more information, see:www.marama.org/ntaqs.

August 26. 2008 - The FHWA Resource Center Air Quality Technical Service Team will hold a MOBILE6.2 Emissions Modeling Webinar on August 26th, 2008 beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST. To participate in the webinar you will need to register in advance at http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_reg.aspx?webConfID=14909. Once registered, you will receive additional email instructions on how to participate in the webinar along with training materials. Contact Mike Roberts (Michael.roberts@fhwa.dot.gov) or John Byun (joon.byun@fhwa.dot.gov) for more information.

August 27-28, 2008 - MOVES Demonstration Workshop. There will be a free, two-day workshop in Chicago, IL covering the fundamentals of the MOVES Demonstration model. Topics include MOVES functional design and transitioning from MOBILE6.2 to MOVES. It will also include "hands on:" training running the MOVES model and an example regional-scale application. The course will be held at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, 333 South Wacker Drive (Sears Tower), Suite 800. Registration is limited and accepted via email to: Jeff.Houk@dot.gov.

September 17, 2008 As part of the TRB Tools of the Trade Conference in Portland, OR from September 17-19, an Air Quality Workshop conducted by FHWA staff will be held on September 17. For more information see: http://www.regonline.com/Checkin.asp?EventId=628864.

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.

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

Transportation Conformity Community of Practice:
https://www.transportationresearch.gov/dot/fhwa/hcx/Pages/Topics.aspx?Topic=Transportation%20Conformity&Source=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.transportationresearch.gov%2Fdot%2Ffhwa%2Fhcx%2Fdefault.aspx

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

Updated: 07/10/2014
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