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Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Highlights

Winter 2012

Prepared by the Office of Natural Environment Federal Highway Administration - Publication Number FHWA-HEP-13-013

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Announcements and Recent Events

Update to FHWA MSAT Guidance. On December 6, 2012, FHWA released an update to the Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSAT) Interim Guidance. This interim guidance update reflects U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) changes in methodology for conducting emissions analysis and updates of research in the MSAT arena. EPA released the latest emissions model, the Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) in 2010, and started a 2-year grace period to phase in the requirement of using MOVES for transportation conformity purposes. EPA suggests following this grace period for other air quality analyses completed during the NEPA process, such as MSAT analysis. Therefore, after December 20, 2012, project sponsors should use MOVES when conducting emissions analysis for NEPA purposes. To prepare for this transition, FHWA updated the September 2009 Interim Guidance to incorporate the analysis conducted using MOVES. If you have any questions, please contact Victoria Martinez at 787-766-5600 X231, or by email at victoria.martinez@dot.gov.

MOVES/EMFAC Grace Period Ends for Hot-Spot Analyses. Any project level hot-spot analysis started after December 20, 2012, must use MOVES2010. Additionally, any project of air quality concern in PM areas begun after December 20 must complete a quantitative analysis using MOVES2010. Project level conformity analyses started before the end of the grace period can still rely on MOBILE or a qualitative analysis in PM areas. To access the Federal Register notice, guidance documents, and fact sheets, go to: EPA's Project Level Conformity website.

EPA Revised Particulate Matter Standard. On December 14, 2012, EPA finalized changes to the particulate matter (PM) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). EPA lowered the primary annual PM2.5 standard from 15 µg/m3 to 12 µg/m3. The 24-hour PM2.5 standards were retained at 35 µg/m3 as were the 24-hour PM10 standard (150 µg/m3). EPA did not finalize the proposed new secondary standard intended to address visibility. EPA also took action to require near road monitors in areas with a population over 1 million (to be co-located with NO2 near road monitors). EPA expects initial nonattainment designations in December 2014, effective early 2015. Areas will have five years to attain the standard (2020). Transportation conformity will be required in the newly designated nonattainment areas for the revised PM standards one year after the effective date of designations. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/pm/actions.html.

NTAQS Presentation and EPA MOVES for Non-Modelers Training Materials Available. All presentations and materials from the recent NTAQS 2012 Meeting are now available on-line at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) website at: NTAQS 2012. Access the presentations by going to the DVRPC website above, clicking on the NTAQS 2012 link in the lower right, and then clicking on the "Download Presentations" button.

FHWA Resource Center Facilitated MOVES User Group Conference Calls. The MOVES User Group for MPOs met on October 2, and the MOVES User Group for Project Sponsors met on October 4. For those interested in attending future conference calls, contact Kevin Black (kevin.black@dot.gov) by email with a subject line stating: Add to MOVES Model User Group email list. In addition, specify if you want to be notified of sessions regarding the MPO-related issues or project-level issues or both, and provide your name, employer/affiliation, phone, and email address.

Save the Date - STAQS 2013. The bi-annual Southern Transportation and Air Quality Summit (STAQS) is planned for August 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. More information/details coming soon! Please contact Mike Roberts, Michael.roberts@dot.gov with any questions.

Air Quality Planning Web Course Now Available. A new course entitled Clean Air Act Overview is now available. This course is the first in a series of air quality planning courses specifically designed for transportation practitioners. (Additional courses coming soon.) The web-based course is free via the National Highway Institute and covers such topics as the purpose and history of the Act, specific provisions related to transportation, and an overview of the impacts of the Act. For more information, visit www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov, course number NHI-FHWA-142068. Please contact Karen Perritt with any questions, at karen.perritt@dot.gov.

Reminders

MAP-21 Highlights on Agency Websites. Presentations, questions & answers, and other vital information surrounding the legislation remain on FHWA's web pages. Both the CMAQ webinar presented in September and the Qs&As can be found on the MAP-21 Website. Basic fiscal information is housed on the MAP-21 site as well, although the supplementary tables with more detailed breakdowns on the individual Federal-aid programs will be loaded on the agency's Laws and Regulations page. The tables are slated for release around the first of the year.

CMAQ Public Access System Users: Input Requested. FHWA is soliciting input from state DOT and MPO/COG users of the CMAQ Public Access System for improvements to both the project search and reporting features of the software programming. With the official release of the CMAQ Public Access System in July of 2011, CMAQ project information from 1992 through 2009 became publicly available and searchable in various reporting formats. This has been the first opportunity for the general public to directly access information concerning FHWA-approved CMAQ Projects submitted through the annual reporting process. The Public Access System webpage along with CMAQ system support and guidance information are available at CMAQ Public Access System or may be accessed through most major search engines. Please direct your comments and suggestions to Mark Glaze, (202) 366-4053 or mark.glaze@dot.gov.

MOVES2010's 24-Month Grace Period for Regional Conformity Analysis extended to March 2, 2013. For more information, see EPA's website, and the MOVES website.

Training Opportunities

Introduction to Transportation Conformity Course. The National Transit Institute Introduction to Transportation Conformity Course will be held in Cincinnati, OH (February 19 - 21, 2013). For more information, see: The National Transit Institute website.

Conformity 101 Training Available On-Line. FHWA made a short course entitled "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.

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 or Paul.Heishman@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. 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 and training materials and agenda can be found at: PM Hotspot Quantitative Analyses Training.

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.

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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