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Transportation Conformity Highlights

November 2005

SAFETEA-LU Listening Session Scheduled for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). On November 29 from 3:00-5:00 pm eastern time, a web conference will be held for MPOs at the request of the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) and the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC). There are a limited number of "seats" for the web conference and therefore, it will be by invitation only and only for MPOs. Contact: http://www.AMPO.org or http://www.NARC.org for more information.

EPA Requests Comments on MOVES Lookup Table Proposal. Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) is being prepared as an eventual replacement to the MOBILE6 model of highway vehicle emissions. Many MOBILE modelers currently use MOBILE6 to create lookup tables that they can use to generate emissions estimates at the "link" level. This type of analysis is used for conformity determinations in many areas and is also used for generating inputs to air chemistry models. While the initial MOVES design was to generate link-level emissions directly, having MOVES produce lookup tables similar to those that can be produced from MOBILE6 may be more efficient for some users, both in terms of run time, and in terms of working within existing systems to generate VMT estimates and inputs to other models. The MOVES staff has developed a proposed format for these lookup tables and is requesting comments from users on this proposed format. For a copy of the MOVES Lookup Table Proposal, please email EPA at mobile@epa.gov. Comments are requested by December 2, 2005

EPA's Proposed PM2.5 Implementation Rule Posted. On November 1, the proposed rule to implement the new PM2.5 standard was posted in the Federal Register. The proposed rule and preamble describe the requirements that States and Tribes must meet in their implementation plans for attainment of the fine particle (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The EPA designated areas for not attaining the PM2.5 standards on December 17, 2004. The designations became effective on April 5, 2005. Within 12 months, each PM2.5 nonattainment area must make a conformity determination for PM2.5 and within 3 years each State having a nonattainment area(s) must submit to EPA an attainment demonstration (and associated air quality modeling), adopted State regulations to reduce emissions of PM2.5 and its precursors, and other supporting information demonstrating that the area will attain the standards as expeditiously as practicable. EPA is accepting comments on the proposed rule until January 3, 2006. To review the proposed rule, see: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2005-11-01/html/05-20455.htm.

EPA Releases Phase II Implementation Rule for 8-Hour Ozone Standard. On November 9, 2005 EPA issued a final rule that will take the next steps to protect the American public from ground-level ozone pollution. This rule, often called the Phase 2 Ozone Rule, outlines the remaining elements of the program to implement the 8-hour ground-level ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard that EPA established in July 1997. State, tribal and local government will rely upon these requirements as they develop their plans showing how they will attain or maintain the 8-hour ozone standard. http://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations/.

EPA Releases Best Workplaces for Commuters Guidance and COMMUTER Model. On October 25, EPA released "Guidance for Quantifying and Using Emission Reductions from Best Workplaces for Commuters Programs in State Implementation Plans and Transportation Conformity Determinations", the updated COMMUTER model, a cover memo from OTAQ Director Margo Oge, and associated user manuals and a fact sheet. The guidance document includes appendices that give examples of how the COMMUTER model can be used to estimate vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and emissions reductions, and provides a survey tool that helps establish a baseline for estimating emissions reductions. The total reductions that may be used for all voluntary measures (including BWC-related measures) may not exceed 3 percent of the total reductions needed to meet any requirements for reasonable further progress, attainment or maintenance. For more information, see: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/policy.htm.

NTI Course: Introduction to Transportation Conformity. Courses will be offered in Dover, DE on December 6-8 and Chattanooga, TN on January 17-19, 2006. For information and to register go to: www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.asp?CourseNumber=FP213

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 can be found at: www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/airquality/courses.cfm.

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

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

Updated: 11/03/2014
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