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Transportation Conformity Highlights

November 2009

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

Announcements and Recent Events

EPA Releases Interim Transportation Conformity Guidance for the 2006 PM2.5 Nonattainment Areas. On December 1, EPA posted new, Interim Guidance for recently designated 2006 PM2.5 nonattainment areas. There are 31 nonattainment areas in 18 states covering all or parts of 120 counties. The one-year grace period before the conformity determination will need to be completed begins on December 14, 2009. The guidance explains how conformity determinations should be done in these areas. EPA and DOT are planning to hold a webinar in January, 2010 to review the guidance with agencies in 2006 PM2.5 areas. The webinar will be open to all stakeholders. The guidance can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/policy.htm.

EPA Provides Tools to Ease Transition to MOVES Model. EPA has recently posted tools that will help convert MOBILE6.2 formatted inputs to the MOVES format. The tools are spreadsheet files that take MOBILE6.2 (or NMIM) formatted inputs such as registration distributions and average speed distributions, and convert them to MOVES format. Among other capabilities, the tools can match MOBILE6.2 vehicle classes to MOVES source types and MOBILE6.2 road types to MOVES road types. Detailed instructions are included and the converters automatically perform all the necessary calculations when MOBILE6.2 formatted data are entered. A total of 13 converters and one additional calculator have been posted and address almost all of the inputs specified in the MOVES County Data Manager. For more information on capabilities and uses of the converters, see the new web page, Tools for MOVES at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/tools.htm

Grant Funds Available for Health Impact Assessments. The Health Impact Project (HIP) is a collaborative effort between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trust, and is designed as a national initiative to promote the use of health impact assessments (HIAs) as a useful decision-making tool for policy makers. HIAs use a data-driven approach to identify health consequences of projects and to identify strategies to enhance health benefits and minimize adverse health effects of projects. The HIP has issued a Call for Proposals to government agencies, non-profits and educational institutions and anticipates awarding fifteen demonstration grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 for HIAs. More information can be found at: http://www.healthimpactproject.org/project.

Vacancy Announcement

FHWA's Office of Natural and Human Environmentis seeking an Environmental Protection Specialist (GS 13/14) to join the Agency's Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Team in the Washington DC Headquarters office.Responsibilities include providing state of the practice technical advice on air quality and emissions modeling as related to transportation conformity,CMAQ, transportation planning, and project development analyses. The vacancy is scheduled to close on 12/23/2009. Click the following link to see the vacancy: http://jobsearch.dot.gov/jobsearch.asp?jbf574=TD04&q=&lid=17514&jbf522=&salmin=&salmax=&paygrademin=13&paygrademax=&jbf565=0&tm=&sort=rv&vw=d&brd=3876&ss=0&FedEmp=Y&FedPub=N&SUBMIT1.x=92&SUBMIT1.y=14 (inactive link)

Reminders

EPA to Reconsider 2008 Ozone Standards. On September 16, EPA announced that it will thoroughly review the scientific studies and public comments that led to the establishment of the 2008 primary and secondary ozone standards at 0.075 ppm. EPA announced an ambitious schedule to review the scientific information and indicated the agency will propose any revisions by December 2009 with a final decision set for August 2010. During the review period EPA announced that it proposes to stay the 2008 standards for the purpose of designations of nonattainment and maintenance areas. For more information, see: http://www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone.

CO Protocols Added to FHWA's Examples of Transportation Conformity Practices Website.FHWA's Examples of Transportation Conformity Practices website now includes examples of CO screening protocols. These protocols are used by project sponsors to determine whether hot-spot modeling is required for projects in CO nonattainment and maintenance areas. In addition to the CO protocols, the website contains examples of PM2.5 and PM10 project level hot-spot analyses, state and local procedures for determining whether PM2.5 and PM10 hot-spot analyses are required for a project, and state and local on-road mobile source measures in State Implementation Plans (SIPs). To access the examples of conformity practices, see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/conformity/practices/search.cfm

Training Opportunities

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.

National Transit Institute's Introduction to Transportation Conformity Course.The NTI course to be held in Kansas City, Missouri on December 9-11, 2009 and in Columbus, Ohio on March 24-26, 2010. This two and one-half day course has recently been updated and provides basic information on conformity and updates on the conformity process. For more information, see: www.ntionline.com. There is still space available.

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: 07/10/2014
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