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Prepared by the Office of Natural Environment Federal Highway Administration - Publication Number FHWA-HEP-12-027

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Announcements and Recent Events

EPA Administrator Signs Final Rule to Extend MOVES Regional Conformity Grace Period. EPA's Administrator has signed the Final Rule to extend the MOVES regional conformity grace period for 1 year, to March 2, 2013. This action does not affect the existing grace period before MOVES is required for carbon monoxide and particulate matter hot-spot analyses for project-level conformity determinations (75 FR 79370). The 24-month grace period before MOVES is required for hot-spot analysis ends on December 20, 2012. The final rule will become effective upon its publication in the Federal Register. The signed version of the final rule and the fact sheet can be found on EPA's website at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/conf-regs.htm.

EPA Releases Draft Guidance on Ozone Advance Program. Ozone Advance is a program the EPA plans to begin in March 2012. The program is aimed at helping ozone attainment areas take proactive steps to stay in attainment. Comments on the draft guidance are due on February 24. EPA will provide information about the program and will answer questions about the draft program guidance during a webinar on Wednesday, February 22 from 3:30 -4:30pm EST. To register, click on the following link:https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/589142592. For questions related to mobile sources, and to obtain the draft guidance contact: Rudy Kapichak at: kapichak.rudolph@epa.gov

EPA Released Proposed Rule to Implement the 2008 Ozone NAAQS. On February 7, 2012, EPA released "Implementing the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: Proposed Nonattainment Classifications and Attainment Deadlines." This first of 2 proposed implementation rules includes a range of ozone levels for each ozone nonattainment area classification as well as the date by which these areas would be required to meet the standards. It also proposed to revoke the 1997 ozone standards for transportation conformity purposes one year after the effective date of designations for the 2008 standards. For more information, visit EPA's 2008 Ozone NAAQS website.

EPA Revised Nonattainment Recommendations for 2008 Ozone NAAQS. On January 31, 2012, EPA revised its responses to recommendations from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin on areas designated for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. These revised letters are based on ozone air quality data submitted by the State of Illinois. The revised recommendations are available on EPA's website. EPA first issued the recommendation letters in early December, 2011, identifying 43 areas in 26 states plus the District of Columbia as not meeting the standards. States have until February 29, 2012 to submit to EPA any additional information that they would like EPA to consider in the designations. EPA's recommendation letters are available online.

AASHTO Air Quality Community of Practice (COP) Report on Public Education Programs. The AASHTO COP consists of representatives from thirteen state DOTs, FHWA, FTA, and AASHTO. In January the Air Quality COP released a report on state and regional programs that help inform and educate the public on transportation and air quality issues, challenges to meeting objectives of public education programs and research needs. The report also includes information on federal public education programs and multi-state efforts such as along the I-95 corridor in the eastern U.S. For more information, go to: Air Quality Public Education Programs.

TRB Annual Meeting. The Annual TRB meeting was held from Sunday, January 22 to Thursday, January 26 in Washington, D.C. Featured air quality sessions included an all day Integrated transportation and air quality modeling workshop on Sunday which was specifically geared toward modeling and PM hotspot analysis requirements. Experts from academia, consulting, the FHWA and EPA made presentations. Other sessions of interest included: Emerging Trends in Assessing Mobile Source Air Pollution, Emerging Topics in Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases from Non-highway Vehicles, and Current Environmental Issues in Transportation. Additionally, the Transportation and Air Quality Committee met as did the subcommittees on Project level Analysis and Regional Air Quality Analysis.
For more information and for copies of presentations from the Annual Meeting, see the Transportation and Air Quality Committee website at: http://trbairquality.org/.

EPA Issues Draft Guidance on Using MOVES to Develop On-Road Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories. EPA recently released draft guidance on how to use the MOVES model to develop state or local inventories of on-road greenhouse gas emissions. This guidance does not create any new requirements and can be used by states and local areas to estimate past and future greenhouse gases from on-road sources. EPA will accept comments on the draft guidance until March 31, 2012. For more information, see: EPA Draft Guidance - Using MOVES Model to Estimate GHG Emissions.

Health Effects Institute Annual Conference April 15-17, 2012. The Health Effects Institute (HEI) Annual Conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois on April 15-17, 2012. Sessions include information on diesel emissions and cancer, improving methods for traffic-related exposure to pollutants, and the HEI perspective on ultrafine particles. Registration closes April 7, 2012. For more information, see: HEI Annual Meeting.

Reminders

EPA Releases Draft Near-road NO2 Technical Assistance Document. On December 22, the EPA released an updated draft of the Near-road NO2 Technical Assistance Document to assist stakeholders with the planning and siting processes for implementation of the Near-road NO2 monitoring requirements that were announced in February 2010. The latest draft reflects comments from the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and federal, state, and local stakeholders. For more information, see: EPA Near-road NO2 TAD. The EPA also posted the results of the Near-road NO2 Monitoring Pilot Study which can be found at: EPA Near-road NO2PilotStudy.

December 23, 2011 Notice, Revised Apportionments for October 1, 2011- March 12, 2012. On October 5, FHWA released the apportionment tables for funds under the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011, Part II (Extension Act), title I of Public Law 112-30, which extended Federal highway programs until March 12, 2012. On December 23, 2011 FHWA released revised apportionment tables. For more information, and tables of funds apportioned by state including Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds, see: Apportionments Oct 2011-March 2012.

Continuation of the CMAQ 100 percent Federal Share Flexibility 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.

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 Started on March 2, 2010. For more information, see The Federal Register notice, EPA's website, and the MOVES website. See related story.

Training Opportunities

National Transit Institute Introduction to Transportation Conformity Course Scheduled. The NTI course, "Introduction to Transportation Conformity" is now scheduled to be offered in Phoenix, AZ on March 13-15 and in Chicago, IL on April 24-26. The two and one-half day course is free to employees of public agencies. For more information and to register, go to: NTI Conformity Training.

Transportation Conformity Training Courses. FHWA is sponsoring a two-day "Introduction to Transportation Conformity" training course in response to requests from various states. For more information or if you are interested in hosting a training session, please contact Sarah Siwek, FHWA's contractor for these courses at ssiwek@aol.com.

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.

New 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 Joon.Byun@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. The 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. The 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: 04/04/2014
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