Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
PlanningEnvironmentReal Estate

HEP Events Guidance Publications Awards Contacts

Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Highlights

July/August 2011

Prepared by the Office of Natural and Human Environment Federal Highway Administration - Publication Number FHWA-HEP-11-032

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®

Announcements and Recent Events

President Obama Delays Final Ozone NAAQS. On September 2, 2011, President Obama announced that the release of the final National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone would be delayed until 2013. EPA was considering tightening the standard from .075 ppm to between .060 and .070 ppm. Industry groups had been lobbying EPA to keep the ozone standard at current levels arguing that a tighter standard would slow economic recovery, cost industry billions of dollars and result in thousands of job losses across the country. See: Statement by the President on the ozone NAAQS.

EPA Finalizes Carbon Monoxide Standards. EPA recently finalized the carbon monoxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and new monitoring requirements. EPA retained the current CO NAAQS which is 9 ppm for the 8-hour NAAQS and 35 ppm for the 1-hour NAAQS. There are no secondary CO standards. EPA is also changing the monitoring requirements for CO by requiring the co-location of one CO monitor with a "near-road" NO2 monitor in urban areas with 1 million or more population. Currently, there are no CO nonattainment areas. For more information, see: CO Standards.

EPA Clarifies MOVES Implementation Status. On August 15, EPA issued, via email, a clarification of the implementation status of the new emissions model, MOVES. EPA indicated that it has made no change in the requirement that MOVES 2010 be used in the development of new SIPs outside of California. EPA went on to indicate that the agency will be proposing an extension of the grace period for the use of MOVES in regional emissions analysis for transportation conformity. EPA is planning to release a proposal to extend the grace period for this purpose soon.

Health Effects Institute (HEI) Releases Two Air Toxics Reports: The HEI recently released two research reports related to mobile source air toxics : (1) HEI Research Report 158, Air Toxics Exposure from Vehicle Emissions at a U.S. Border Crossing: Buffalo Peace Bridge Study. The study tested whether emissions from traffic caused an air toxics "hot-spot" at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, NY. During the study period, more than 4000 trucks per day crossed the border at this location and the investigators measured concentrations of air toxics and criteria pollutants in the area surrounding the border crossing. The study was led by Dr. John Spengler of the Harvard School of Public Health. (2) HEI Research Report 160. Personal and Ambient Exposures to Air Toxics in Camden, New Jersey. The study intended to identify and characterize human exposure to air toxics at potential "hot spots", areas where concentrations of toxic air pollutants may be significantly elevated.

NHTSA and EPA Announce New Fuel Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Standards for Medium and Heavy-duty Trucks. EPA recently announced new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for Model Year (MY) 2014-2018 medium and heavy-duty trucks. The new requirements vary depending on the type of work the trucks perform with a range of 10 to 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency required by 2018. For more information, see: Medium and Heavy-duty fuel efficiency standards.

NHTSA and EPA Announce Proposed New Car and Light-duty Truck Fuel Efficiency Standards. A historic agreement between the Administration, 13 automakers, California Air Resources Board, and others would increase fuel efficiency for cars and light-duty trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon (MPG) by 2025. These national standards would dramatically reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and would save consumers money over the lifetime of the vehicles. The current standards will achieve 35.5 MPG by 2016. NHTSA and EPA are planning to release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in September, For more information, see:Light-duty fuel efficiency standards.

FHWA Posts Research on Advances in Project Level Analyses. FHWA recently posted the final report on Advances in Project Level Analyses on its website. This research was conducted to provide research results and tools for assisting transportation and air quality professionals in preparing project-level analysis for transportation conformity and SIPs by using the capabilities of the MOVES model. The full report can be found at: Advances in Project Level Analyses.

EPA Posts PM Hotspot Training Materials. EPA recently posted the training materials being used in the three-day PM hotspot analyses training course. The course was jointly developed by DOT and EPA and includes extensive information on both technical and policy issues that are needed to implement the Transportation Conformity Guidance for Quantitative Hot-spot Analyses in PM2.5 and PM10 Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas" The materials can be found at EPA PM Hotspot Training.

STAQS Meeting Materials Posted. The sixth Southern Transportation and Air Quality Summit (STAQS) was held in Raleigh, NC from July 19-21. The summit was sponsored by FHWA and EPA Regions 3, 4, and 6; and nearly 100 transportation and air quality professionals attended the Summit. The summit highlighted the current and upcoming regulatory environment, new technologies, and current practices vital to the transportation and environmental communities. The focus for this year's Summit was transportation and climate change. The three-day summit kicked off with training sessions by the FHWA and EPA on transportation conformity, and the MOVES2010a model. On Wednesday, participants met to discuss transportation's role in reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the implications of revised air quality standards on transportation programs, and reauthorization of the Federal-aid highway program. Conference presentations are available at STAQS 2011.

EPA Finalizes Cross State Air Pollution Rule. EPA recently finalized the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) that requires 27 states in the eastern half of the United States to reduce power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and PM2.5 pollution in other states. This rule replaces EPA's 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and responds to a December 2008 Court decision that required EPA to implement Clean Air Act requirements relating to the transport of pollution across state lines. In order to expedite implementation of the new rule, EPA is adopting Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) in the 27 impacted states. The states may develop SIPs by 2014 to replace the FIPs and choose which sources of pollution they will control to achieve the required reductions. Information on the CSAPR may be found at: Cross State Air Pollution Rule.

Reminders

FY 2011 Supplementary Tables Released. On July 1, FHWA released a Notice to provide supplementary tables related to FY 2011 Apportionments under the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010, as amended, and the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011. The Notice includes program-by-program, State-by-State apportionment amounts including information on the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). For more information, see: FY 2011 Supplementary Tables.

New CMAQ Public Access System now available on the FHWA's Air Quality Website. This release of the CMAQ Public Access System (PAS) makes searchable project information available for projects funded from 1992 through 2009. The PAS webpage along with CMAQ system support and guidance information will be reachable through the FHWA Air Quality CMAQ website. For questions related to the PAS, contact Mark Glaze at (202)366-4053.

Continuation of the CMAQ 100 percent Federal Share Flexibility 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. Any questions related to the CMAQ program should be directed to Mike Koontz at (202)366-2076.

AMPO Annual Meeting October 25-28, 2011. The AMPO Annual Meeting will be held in Dallas, Texas from October 25-28, 2011. The conference includes sessions on sustainability, climate change, bicycle and pedestrian planning, innovative finance, performance measures and much more. For more information, see: AMPO 2011 Annual Meeting.

TRB 2012 Annual Meeting. The TRB 91st Annual Meeting will be held on January 22-26, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The Transportation and Air Quality Committee (ADC20) has issued a general call for papers and a joint call for papers with the Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities (ADA30) Committee for presentation at the meeting.

MOVES/EMFAC Grace Period for Hot-Spot Analyses Started December 20, 2010. To access the Federal Register notice, guidance documents, and fact sheets, go to: EPA's Project Level Conformity.

MOVES2010's 24-Month Grace Period for Regional Conformity Analysis Started on March 2, 2010. For more information, see The Federal Register notice, EPA's website, and the MOVES website.

Training Opportunities

Transportation Conformity Training Courses. FHWA is sponsoring a two-day "Introduction to Transportation Conformity" training course in response to requests from various states. The training was recently held in Sarasota, FL on August 24 & 25. For more information or if you are interested in hosting a training session, please contact Sarah Siwek, FHWA's contractor for these courses at ssiwek@aol.com

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. This course can be accessed on FHWA's website.

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 the Resource Center website. For further information, contact: Mike Roberts at 404-562-3928.

moves_10

EPA and DOT PM Hotspot Quantitative Analyses Training Scheduled. EPA and DOT have jointly developed a three-day training course on conducting quantitative PM hot-spot analysis using MOVES and CAL3QHCR and AERMOD air quality dispersion models. Detailed information about this course, upcoming training schedule, and training materials and agenda can be found at: PM Hotspot Quantitative Analyses Training.

EPA and FHWA Offer 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 that will use MOVES2010 for developing SIPs and conformity analyses. For additional information on the two-day training sessions, visit EPA's MOVES training website. The materials needed for the course are posted on the MOVES training site.

Contacts

FHWA HQ Transportation Conformity Team:

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

Past issues are available at FHWA's website.If you have any suggestions for future monthly conformity highlights, please email: ssiwek@aol.com.

Updated: 04/04/2014
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000