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Transportation Conformity Highlights

December 2009

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

Announcements and Recent Events

EPA Releases MOVES Model. On December 23, 2009, EPA released the final version of the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator Model (MOVES), called MOVES2010.MOVES2010 is EPA's latest mobile source emission model and replaces EPA's previous mobile source emission model, MOBILE6.2.The new model and supporting documentation are available for download fromEPA's MOVES website: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/index.htm. Guidance documents addressing both technical and policy issues related to the official release of MOVES2010arealsoavailable at the same website.

EPA will be publishing a Federal Register notice of availability in the near future to approve MOVES2010 for meeting official state implementation plan (SIP) and transportation conformity requirements. Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, MOVES2010 will become EPA's approved motor vehicle emission factor model for estimating volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), direct particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and other pollutants and precursors from cars, trucks, motorcycles, and buses by state and local agencies outside of California. EPA intends to include in the notice a two-year grace period for using MOVES2010 for transportation conformity purposes. FHWA and EPA are planning to conducttraining sessions for MOVES2010. More information will be available later.

EPA Delays Proposal on a Revised 2008 8-hour Ozone Standard. EPA recently announced that it would delay until January 6 its release of draft recommendations on the 2008 ozone standard. The Administration announced in September 2009 that it would reconsider the 2008 NAAQS for ozone which was set at 75 parts per billion (ppb). The agency remains on schedule to issue a final rule by August 31, 2010.

EPA Makes Two Key Findings on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Pollutants. On December 7, the U.S. EPA made two findings on six GHG pollutants. The first, an "endangerment finding," means that the six named pollutants endanger public health and welfare. The second is a "cause or contribute finding" that light duty vehicles contribute to GHG pollution that threatens public health and welfare. This EPA action will enable it to finalize regulations on GHG emissions from light-duty vehicles. For more information, see: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/endangerment/EndangermentFinding_Health.pdf.

EPA Proposes Revision to NAAQS for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2). On November 16 EPA announced a proposal to establish a new 1-hour SO2 standard and revoke both the existing 24-hour and annual primary SO2 standards. The proposed new standard would better protect public health. The SO2 standard has not been changed in nearly forty years and industrial facilities and power plants are the primary sources of SO2 emissions. Comments are due on February 8, 2010. EPA anticipates the proposal will be finalized by June 2010. For more information, see: http://www.epa.gov/air/sulfurdioxide/actions.html#nov09.

Reminders

EPA's 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 began 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.

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 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: 03/13/2013
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