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Transportation Conformity Highlights

August 2010

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

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Announcements and Recent Events

EPA Releases MOVES2010a, an Update to MOVES2010. On September 8, 2010, EPA released MOVES2010a, a minor update to MOVES2010. MOVES 2010a incorporates new car and light truck greenhouse gas emissions standards affecting model years 2012 and later, and updates effects of corporate average fuel economy standards affecting model years 2008-2011. MOVES2010a includes reductions in greenhouse gases associated with those standards in future calendar years, and small reductions in refueling and sulfur-related emissions associated with the reductions in vehicle fuel consumption.

MOVES2010a also includes a number of other improvements. These are listed in the preface of the MOVES2010a User Guide and also in Appendix A of the MOVES2010a Question & Answer document on the MOVES website. The net impact of these changes on criteria pollutant emissions is small. Compared to MOVES2010, most regional inventory runs should see an increase in methane emissions and a small decrease in the associated Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and air toxics emissions. However, comparisons for runs that focus on a particular project or sourcetype may vary. Because the impact of the changes in MOVES2010 on criteria pollutant emissions are small, EPA is not considering MOVES2010a a new emissions model for state implementation plan (SIP) and transportation conformity purposes under 40 CFR 93.111, and will not start a new grace period for regional conformity analyses using MOVES2010a. The

MOVES2010 grace period for regional conformity analyses, which ends on March 12, 2012 will apply to the use of MOVES2010a as well. MOVES2010a is available for download at EPA's MOVES website: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/index.htm

Federal Register Notice on Proposed Transportation Conformity Rule Restructuring. The August 13, the Federal Register Notice proposed to restructure several sections of the conformity rule. EPA has proposed to restructure two sections of the conformity rule so that existing requirements would apply for any new or revised NAAQS that are established. This would reduce the need to amend the transportation conformity rule in the future to reference a specific NAAQS. EPA is also proposing to require a near-term analysis year be used when using the budget test if the attainment year has already passed or has not yet been established. Public comments are due on or before September 13, 2010. To see the proposed rule, go to: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/conf-regs.htm.

Transportation Conformity: Linking Transportation and Air Quality Brochure. FHWA has revised their "Transportation Conformity " brochure to reflect many changes that have taken place in the transportation conformity arena since the original brochure was published in 2002. These changes include the addition of PM2.5 to the list of transportation related criteria pollutants and revisions to the Clean Air Act due to SAFETEA-LU. FHWA has printed a limited number of copies which can be obtained by contacting Emily Biondi at 202-366-9482 or Emily.biondi@dot.gov. An electronic version of the brochure will also be posted to FHWA's transportation conformity website: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/conformity/policy_and_guidance/.

OVES Model User Group for MPOs Presentations Available. On July 29, 2010, FHWA convened the first MOVES model user group for MPOs webconference. More than 160 participants attended the webconference. The webconference presentations are available on AMPO's website: http://www.ampo.org/content/index.php?pid=32. A separate MOVES Model User Group for Project Sponsors is scheduled to hold the first webconference on September 16. To register for the MOVES Model User Group for Project Sponsors webconference, please go to: http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/viewconference.aspx?webconfid=21341
For more information on the MOVES model user groups, contact Bob O'Loughlin at Robert.o'loughlin@dot.gov.

FHWA Seeks Input on Surface Transportation Environmental and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP) Projects for FY2011. On July 2, 2010 FHWA published a notice in the Federal Register at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-07-02/html/2010-15949.htm to announce revisions to the STEP implementation strategy for FY 2011 and to request suggested lines of research for the FY 2011 STEP, including research ideas in the air quality and climate change areas. Suggestions are due on or before September 30, 2010 via the STEP Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/step/index.cfm.

FHWA's STEP to Host Air Quality and Climate Change Webinar. The webinar is scheduled on September 28, 12:00-1:30 pm eastern time. Topics include but are not limited to: research efforts to support the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model; the National Near Road Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSAT) Study; the Conceptual Model for Conducting Assessments of Transportation Infrastructure Vulnerable to Global Climate Change Effects; as well as state and local projects underway that support air quality and climate change research. Registration is now open.  To reserve your seat, please visit:  http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_reg.aspx?webconfid=20967 For more information regarding the webinar, contact Julie Panna at 202-366-4054 or julie.panna.ctr@dot.gov.

EPA Holds Hearings and Accepts Comments on Proposed Interstate Transport Rule. On July 6, EPA released a draft Rule to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone. The proposed rule would replace EPA's 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). The proposed new Transport rule would limit emissions of NOx and SO2 in 32 eastern states that are impacted by transport which affects their ability to attain and maintain the current PM2.5 and ozone NAAQS. EPA proposes to accomplish this through Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) that limit emissions from electric generating units in 32 states. This action is intended to ensure that most areas attain the current PM2.5 and ozone NAAQS by 2014 or earlier. Public hearings were held in Philadelphia on (August 26), Chicago (August 19); and Atlanta (September 1). Comments on this Proposed Rule are due no later than October 1, 2010. For more information, see: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-08-02/pdf/2010-17007.pdf#page=1.

Reminders

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. In 2006, EPA promulgated a new 24-hr PM2.5 standard. The effective date of designations for that standard was December 14, 2009; thereby making conformity required in those newly-designated areas by December 14, 2010. There is no lapse grace period for newly-designated areas. 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.

Training Opportunities

Conformity 101 Training Available On-Line. FHWA has made a short course titled "What is Conformity" available on-line. This course is intended for transportation and air quality practitioners who are new to transportation conformity, those looking for a refresher, or others who only need a brief overview of the rule. The session is approximately 27 minutes long. Handouts are available for download at the same site. To access this course, see: https://fhwa.na3.acrobat.com/whatisconformity/.

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.

moves_10

NEW! Introduction to MOVES2010 Webconference on October 7, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT. This web-conference is intended for anyone who is interested in learning what MOVES is and how it is used -- including both non-modelers and MOVES users - and to provide an overview of MOVES, describe how MOVES is different from MOBILE6.2, explain differences in versions of MOVES and its database, and summarize the documentation available for MOVES (including the MOVES User Guide and MOVES guidance documents). To reserve space at the Introduction to MOVES 2010 webconference, use this link: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/760043491

EPA and FHWA Announce Two-Day MOVES2010 Training Course. EPA and FHWA have jointly developed a two-day training course on the MOVES2010 model that will be taught at various locations over the coming months. This is a detailed, two-day, hands-on course geared toward state and local agency staff who will use MOVES2010 for developing SIPs and conformity analyses. For additional information on the two-day training sessions, see: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/training.htm#2. The materials needed for the course are posted at: www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/training.htm.

Completed sessions:

August 26, Boston, MA at Northeast Transportation and Air Quality Summit (NTAQS)
Contact: www.nescaum.org/documents/northern-transportation-and-air-quality-summit

August 31 - September 1, Indianapolis, IN.
Contact: Larry Heil, FHWA, larry.heil@dot.gov

September 14-15, Nashville, TN.
Contact: Tammy Enix, Center for Transportation Research, University of Tennessee, tenix@utk.edu

Scheduled sessions:

September 15-16, Kansas City, KS.
Contact: Steven Brown, US EPA Region 7, brown.steven@epa.gov

September 23-24, Las Vegas, NV.
Contact: Stephen Deyo, Clark County Dept. of Air Quality and Environmental Management, deyo@co.clark.nv.us

September 27, San Antonio, TX at the International Emission Inventory Conference
Registration information at: http://projects.pechan.com/EPA/eic/register.cfm
Note: This training is part of the Emission Inventory conference and will only consist of one day focusing on using MOVES at the county scale

October 18-19, Seattle, WA.
Contact: Tim Sexton, WSDOT, sextont@wsdot.wa.gov, or Kelly McGourty, Puget Sound Regional Council, kmcgourty@psrc.org

October 20-21, Charlottesville, VA
Contact: Jim Ponticello, Virginia Department of Transportation, jim.ponticello@vdot.virginia.gov

October 27-28, Portsmouth, NH
Contact: Thomas Fargo, NH Dept. of Environmental Services, thomas.fargo@des.nh.gov

In addition to the locations above, it is anticipated that MOVES training will be scheduled in a number of other locations, listed below.

Little Rock, AR
Birmingham, AL
Columbia, SC
Richmond, VA
Albany, NY
Maryland or Delaware, location TBD

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: 04/04/2014
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