Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) signed by President Bush on August 10. With guaranteed funding for highways, highway safety, and public transportation totaling $244.1 billion, SAFETEA-LU represents the largest surface transportation investment in the nation's history. SAFETEA-LU includes changes in the conformity and planning processes intended to provide greater flexibility. These include establishing a 4-year cycle for metropolitan plan and conformity updates and allowing conformity findings to be based on a 10-year horizon under certain circumstances. The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) is funded at a total of $8.6 billion through 2009 and changes in project eligibility. For more information see: www.fhwa.dot.gov/reauthorization/conference.htm
Emissions Benefits of Land Use Strategies. FHWA recently completed a research project that investigated the impacts of land use strategies on emissions. To understand the past research and current practice, the FHWA project addressed the following objectives: 1) Critically review existing literature and research on the topic of land use, travel behavior, and emission interactions; 2) Conduct a series of interviews and case studies with acknowledged experts and practitioners that are currently conducting or supporting work in the area of quantifying the effects of land use on emissions; and 3) Outline the state of the practice and recommend improvements and research that can aid practitioners in the future. For more information see: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/conformity/research/emissions_benefits/.
MOBILE 6 Implementation Experience. The FHWA recently posted a report on the experience of MPOs in the implementation of the MOBILE6 model. The report includes information on how the ten participating MPOs addressed data issues, interagency consultation, and training and technical assistance needs during the transition to MOBILE6. For more information see: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/conformity/research/mobile6_implementation_2005/.
EPA Provides Notice that Early Action Compact Areas are Still Covered by the 1-hour Ozone Standard. EPA issued guidance that made exception to the revocation of the 1-hour ozone standard for 14 Early Action Compact areas. These areas are still subject to 1-hour standard requirements while they work to meet the 8-hour standard ahead of schedule. For more information, see: http://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations/.
EPA Releases Guidance for Creating Annual On-Road Mobile Source Emission Inventories for PM2.5 Nonattainment Areas for Use in SIPs and Conformity. EPA released this guidance to provide PM2.5 nonattainment and maintenance areas information on developing annual PM2.5 on-road motor vehicle emissions estimates to meet SIP and conformity requirements. The guidance provides a range of methods for producing annual emissions inventories and guidance on how to decide which method is most appropriate. The guidance also provides the option of using a simplified inventory approach for areas currently preparing a regional emissions analysis before the SIP is developed. For more information see: www.epa.gov/otaq/transp/conform/policy.htm#sips.
EPA Releases Guidance on Incorporating Bundled Measures in a Stat Implementation Plan. EPA released this guidance on August 10, 2005 to address issues related to States and local areas on State implementation plan (SIP) credit from a group, or "bundle," of pollution control measures or strategies considered in the aggregate. The guidance supports the development of additional emissions reductions from innovative approaches by describing how States can identify individual voluntary and emerging measures and "bundle" them in a single SIP submission. The emissions reductions for each measure in the bundle would be quantified and, after applying an appropriate discount factor for uncertainty, the total reductions would be summed together in the SIP submission. The guidance also includes discussions of how this policy affects conformity determinations. An electronic version of this document will be posted at www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg under "Recent Additions."
PM2.5 Transportation Conformity Workshops. In August and September, EPA and FHWA are offering workshops on PM2.5 conformity requirements. The schedule and location is provided below.
NTI Course: Introduction to Transportation Conformity. CCourses will be offered in Baton Rouge, LA on August 22-24, and Los Angeles, CA on October 26-28. Additional courses are being scheduled through February 2006 in Charleston, WV, Chattanooga, TN, and Dover, DE. For information and to register go to: www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.asp?CourseNumber=FP213
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: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/airquality/courses.cfm.
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FHWA Resource Center Air Quality Team Contacts: