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Transportation Conformity Highlights

October 2010

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

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Announcements and Recent Events

FHWA Launches New Air Quality Website. FHWA's Office of Natural Environment recently launched a redesigned Air Quality website. The new website can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/. The new user friendly website serves as the information center for air quality related topics including Transportation Conformity, the CMAQ program, and mobile source air toxics. FHWA encourages stakeholders to visit the new site and provide feedback on the website.

2006 PM2.5 Maps Available. One feature of the new FHWA Air Quality website is the addition of maps for areas designated nonattainment under the 2006 PM2.5 standard. Similar to the 1997 PM2.5 and 1997 8-hour ozone maps (also available on the website), the 2006 PM2.5 maps for each nonattainment area show the 2006 PM2.5 nonattainment boundary, the 1997 PM2.5 nonattainment boundary if applicable, the MPO(s) boundary, and state and county lines. To view the maps, see: 2006 PM2.5 maps.

EPA Releases New Schedule for Review of CO NAAQS. EPA settled a recent court case and agreed to a new schedule for review of the CO NAAQS. The new schedule requires EPA to propose by January 28, 2011 and finalize by August 12, 2011. Here is a link to the court order: Court Order.

EPA Announces New Schedule for Finalization of new Ozone NAAQS. EPA recently announced that it would not be able to meet a late October date to finalize its reconsideration of the ozone standard and was granted an extension to finalize the new NAAQS until December 31, 2010. In January, EPA proposed an ozone standard of 60-70 parts per billion (ppb), a stricter standard than the current 75 ppb set in March 2008.

2010 Coordinating Research Council (CRC) Mobile Source Air Toxics Workshop. The CRC is sponsoring a mobile source air toxics workshop in Sacramento, CA November 30 - December 2, 2010. The objectives of the workshop are to share information on mobile source air toxics (excluding health effects), to report on significant work underway, and to identify future needs. The workshop is being organized in cooperation with U.S. EPA, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, FHWA, South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board, American Petroleum Institute and the Desert Research Institute. For information see: 2010 CRC Mobile Source Air Toxics Workshop.

FHWA Resource Center Hosts MOVES User Group for MPOs Webinar. On October 14, the FHWA Resource center hosted the second MOVES Users Webinar for MPOs. The webinar included a presentation by Kip Billings of the Wasatch Front Regional Council in Utah on the use of the travel demand model and MOVES. Presentations will be available on AMPO's website.

Clean Diesel 10 Conference October 19-20. U.S. EPA, in conjunction with the Diesel Technology Forum, environmental groups, the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NAACA), and many private sector partners celebrated ten years of the National Clean Diesel Campaign as well as successes with the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). This two-day event recognized efforts made to date to implement diesel emission reduction projects, provided networking opportunities, and discussed plans for the future. For more information, see: Clean Diesel 10.

Reminders

EPA Releases Revised MOVES2010a Installation Suite. U.S. EPA has revised the MOVES 2010a Installation Suite to improve model run time and to make it easier to install MOVES. The revised installation suite includes a number of improvements and also upgrades the MOVES default database. No changes were made to calculations in the MOVES code or to the content of the default database. This revision is not a new emissions model for the purposes of conformity or SIP development nor does it change the grace period which end on March 2, 2012 before use of the model is required. The suite is available at: EPA's website.

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. Any questions related to the CMAQ program should be directed to Mike Koontz at (202)366-2076.

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 EPA's website.

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. 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 EPA's website. The MOVES2010 model and supporting materials can be found on the MOVES website.

Training Opportunities

Introduction to Transportation Conformity. The National Transit Institute sponsored Introduction to Transportation Conformity course will be held in Detroit, MI on December 15-17, 2010. This two and one-half day introductory course has been recently updated to include MOVES and other developments since earlier this year. To register, go to: NTI Website.

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 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.

Completed sessions:

August 26, Boston, MA
August 31-September 1, Indianapolis, IN.
September 14-15, Nashville, TN.
September 15-16, Kansas City, KS.
September 23-24, Las Vegas, NV.
September 27, San Antonio, TX at the International Emission Inventory Conference
October 4-5, Tampa, FL
October 18-19, Seattle, WA.
October 20-21, Charlottesville, VA
October 26-27, Denver, CO
October 27-28, Portsmouth, NH

Scheduled Sessions:

November 22-23, Hanover, MD (near Baltimore)
Contact: Denise King (410-779-7145), Kwame Arhin (410-779-7158), FHWA

November 30-December 1, Columbia, SC
Contact: Renee Baecker, SC Bureau of Air Quality, baeckerr@dhec.sc.gov

December 16-17, Schenectady, NY (near Albany)
Contact information will be posted t EPA's MOVES training website.

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

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
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