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Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Highlights

August 2012

Prepared by the Office of Natural Environment Federal Highway Administration - Publication Number FHWA-HEP-12-052

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Announcements and Recent Events

MAP-21 CMAQ Webinar. On September 13, 2012, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, FHWA will conduct a webinar to provide an overview of the MAP-21 provisions on the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program. To register, visit FHWA MAP-21 Webinar website. For up to date information on MAP-21, see: FHWA's MAP-21 Website.

CMAQ 100 percent Federal Share Flexibility Ending as of October 1, 2012. 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 and was continued to apply during SAFETEA-LU extensions. The 100 percent share flexibility for CMAQ projects was not extended by MAP-21. Additional information related to the CMAQ program under MAP-21 will be posted on FHWA's MAP-21 website. Contact Mike Koontz at Michael.koontz@dot.gov for more information.

CMAQ Public Access System Seeks Users Input. FHWA is soliciting input from state DOT and MPO/COG users of the CMAQ Public Access System (PAS) for improvements to both the project search and reporting features of the PAS. All 50 states and the District of Columbia are required to submit annual reports of their CMAQ project obligations in March of every year. The FHWA uses these yearly submissions to maintain an active database of CMAQ investments, trends within the program, and other anecdotal information focusing on the program's performance. With the official release of the CMAQ PAS in July, 2011, CMAQ project information from 1992 through 2009 became publicly available and searchable in various reporting formats. The PAS, along with CMAQ system support and guidance information, are available on FHWA's CMAQ webpage. Please direct your comments and suggestions to Mark Glaze at (202) 366-4053 or mark.glaze@dot.gov.

EPA Releases Two Conformity Guidance Documents. EPA has issued two guidance documents that help implementers with transportation conformity for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) Areas that are newly designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS are required to meet conformity requirements by July 20, 2013. The first guidance document is "Transportation Conformity Guidance for 2008 Ozone Nonattainment Areas," which provides guidance for meeting transportation conformity requirements in areas designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. It also addresses the revocation of the 1997 ozone NAAQS for transportation conformity purposes. The second, "Guidance for Transportation Conformity Implementation in Multi-Jurisdictional Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas," updates and supersedes EPA's 2004 "Multi-jurisdictional guidance." This revised guidance describes how transportation conformity determinations are done in areas where multiple metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), states and/or other agencies have jurisdiction in a nonattainment or maintenance area.

AMPO Annual Meeting September 11-14. The AMPO Annual Meeting will be held in Saratoga Springs, NY on September 11-14, 2012. There are several planned sessions of interest to transportation and air quality professionals including one on Tools and Coordination Techniques for Meeting Air Quality Goals. For more information go to: AMPO Annual Meeting.

AASHTO Standing Committee on Environment Meeting September 14. The AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment meeting is in San Diego, CA on September 14, 2012.

NTAQS 2012. The Northern Transportation Air Quality Summit (NTAQS) 2012 was held in Philadelphia on August 7-8, 2012. This year's summit was co-sponsored with FHWA, EPA's Region 1, 2, and 3 Offices, Wilmington Area Planning Council, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Presentation materials can be downloaded on the NTAQS website.

Mobile Sources Technical Review Subcommittee: MOVES Work Group Formed. EPA has appointed a MOVES Work Group to focus on the next version of MOVES (MOVES 2013); evaluating data sources and analysis methods proposed for use in developing MOVES 2013; and commenting on and/or suggesting new user features and enhancements. Members include representatives from FHWA, AASHTO, AMPO, automobile manufacturers, academia and NAACA. For more information and to view meeting presentations and notes, go to: MOVES Work Group.

Reminders

EPA Releases Near-road NO2 Monitoring Technical Assistance Document. EPA recently posted the June 2012 version of the Near-road NO2 Monitoring Technical Assistance Document (TAD). This TAD was developed to assist state and local air monitoring agencies in the implementation of required near-road NO2 monitoring stations. The June 2012 version of the TAD features improvements in graphics, a new glossary, and has minor editorial changes and improvements.

FHWA Releases Questions and Answers on Conformity Lapse Grace Period. FHWA recently developed a list of commonly asked questions and answers about the conformity lapse grace period. The Q & A includes a description of the conformity lapse grace period and a conformity lapse, which projects are impacted during a conformity lapse grace period and a conformity lapse, and other relevant information. For more information, see: Q & A Conformity Lapse Grace Period.

The AASHTO Air Quality Community of Practice (COP) Report on Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets.The AASHTO Air Quality Community of Practice has released a new report on establishing and coordinating motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs). The report discusses EPA and FHWA/FTA requirements and guidance documents for establishing MVEBs; how the various State DOTs, MPOs, and state air quality agencies coordinate and work together to develop, modify, and implement the budgets; selected state practices for changing the MVEBs in response to changes to air quality standards and/or emissions models; technical issues such as which models were used to generate traffic and emissions data; and research needs. For more information, link to Air Quality COP State of the Practice Report: Establishing and Coordinating Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets

EPA Holds Public Hearings on Proposed PM NAAQS Revisions. EPA held two public hearings on the proposed updates to the PM NAAQS (see below for more information) on July 17 in Philadelphia, and July 19 in Sacramento. For more information and instructions for submitting written comments, see http://www.epa.gov/pm/actions.html

EPA Releases Proposed Rule on Strengthening the Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. On June 12, EPA released a proposed rule to strengthen the annual PM2.5 standard to 12 to 13 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), from the existing standard of 15 µg/m3. EPA also proposes to retain the existing 24-hour PM2.5 standard, set a separate PM2.5 NAAQS to improve visibility, and retains the existing secondary standards for PM2.5 and PM10. Finally, the proposal would modify the nation's PM2.5 monitoring network, by requiring one near-roadway PM2.5 monitor in urban areas over 1 million population, and update the Air Quality Index (AQI) for particle pollution. Written comments are due by August 31, 2012 and EPA intends to finalize the rule by December 14, 2012. For more information on the proposed standards and additional summaries, see: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/particlepollution/actions.html.

MOVES/EMFAC 2-year 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 extended to March 2, 2013. For more information, see EPA's website, and the MOVES website.

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

MySQL Training for MOVES Model Users. Two new training opportunities are now available for MOVES model users. A three-hour webinar provides an introduction to MySQL Query Browser and MOVES interface. A six-hour training over two days will enable users to do MySQL programming and to write his/her own MySQL scripts and to manipulate MySQL databases including MOVES input and outputs. For more information or to schedule training, contact John Byun at Joon.Byun@dot.gov or Paul Heishman at Paul.Heishman@dot.gov.

FHWA Resource Center Training Activities. FHWA's Resource Center Air Quality Technical Services Team is available to offer MOVES training and information is available at the Resource Center website.

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.

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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:.

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

Updated: 07/10/2014
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