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Transportation Conformity Highlights

August 2008

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

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Announcements

EPA Intends to Issue Conformity NPRM.

EPA recently notified conformity stakeholders of the agency's plan to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would primarily address PM issues. The three main topics to be addressed in the NPRM include 1) conformity for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 standard, 2) Revocation of the annual PM10 standard, and 3) the December 2007 court decision regarding EPA's March 2006 hot-spot rule. Once the NPRM is issued, EPA will be offering to hold calls with stakeholders. Monitor EPA's transportation conformity website for more information as it becomes available: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/index.htm.

EPA Notifies States of Proposed Nonattainment areas for the 24-Hour fine particulate standard. On August 19 the EPA announced its proposed PM2.5 nonattainment areas and will make formal designations in December 2008, after states and tribes comment on the proposals and if needed, provide additional information. EPA's recommendations include 169 whole counties and 46 partial counties in 25 states. SIPs for areas formally designated in December will be due three years from the effective date of the designations. A thirty-day public comment period will begin as soon as notice is posted in the Federal Register. Recommendations from states and tribes to EPA along with EPA's responses are available at: http://www.epa.gov/pmdesignations/2006standards/index.htm.

AMPO Updates its Knowledge Base of Travel Modeling Resources and Research.This online repository of MPO-sponsored research on travel forecasting presents work products AMPO wants to share with the MPO and travel forecasting community. This knowledge base contains MPO-sponsored research and findings on modeling managed lanes, external trips, current use of activity-based modeling, equilibrium assignment, peak spreading, feedback loops, TAX disaggregation, land use models, and more. It can be accessed at: http://www.ampo.org/content/index.php?pid=98.

Vacancy Announcement

FHWA's Office of Natural and Human Environment extended the application deadline for the Environmental Protection Specialist (GS 13/14) for the Agency's Washington DC Headquarters office. [FHWA.HEP-2008-0026]. 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 vacancy is scheduled to close on 9/16/08. Click the following link to see the revised extended vacancy: http://jobsearch.dot.gov/jobsearch.asp?jbf574Applicants who previously applied have been notified of the changes and the new closing date.

FHWA's Office of Natural and Human Environment is seeking an Environmental Protection Specialist (GS 12/13/14) to join the Agency's Washington DC Headquarters office. [FHWA.HEP-2008-0027] The employee selected for this position will serve as a member of the Transportation Conformity Team to develop, review, and implement complex legislative proposals, regulations, standards, policies, and guidance related to transportation conformity and other air quality/transportation issues. The vacancy is scheduled to close on 9/29/2008. A copy of the vacancy announcement and application procedure is available at the following link: http://jobsearch.dot.gov/jobsearch.asp?jbf574

Reminders

EPA Releases Greenhouse Gas Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR).On July 30, 2008 the U.S. EPA released an ANPR 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 ANPR. EPA is seeking 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.

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.

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

Training Opportunities

Introduction to Transportation Conformity Course. The National Transit Institute course will be offered in Pittsburgh, PA on October 21-23, 2008 and in Seattle, WA on November 5-7, 2008. This introductory course is a two and one-half day training course. For more information and to register contact: http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.asp?CourseNumber=FP213.

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: https://www.regonline.com/.

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:
http://knowledge.fhwa.dot.gov/cops/hcx.nsf/home?openform

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

Updated: 07/10/2014
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