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Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Highlights

Fall 2013

Prepared by the Office of Natural Environment Federal Highway Administration - Publication Number FHWA-HEP-14-009

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Announcements and Recent Events

New CMAQ Interim Guidance for MAP-21 Issued. The Notice of the CMAQ Program Interim Guidance was published in the Federal Register on November 12, 2013, effective immediately. The FHWA will consider all comments submitted to the Docket during the 60-day comment period before issuing final guidance. The Program Interim Guidance updates and replaces the 2008 CMAQ Program Guidance to reflect amendments made by MAP-21. The Interim Guidance covers project eligibility information, geographic area eligibility, the flexibility and transferability provisions available to States, requirements for annual reporting of CMAQ program obligations, and a discussion of the pertinent program and administrative responsibilities of Federal, State, and Metropolitan Planning Organizations, transit agencies, and private sector project sponsors. Additionally, this Interim Guidance includes a number of discussions and interpretations of new or emphasized areas in MAP-21, including information on the continued focus on diesel retrofits and overall diesel emissions mitigation, policies behind the new priority set-aside for PM2.5 obligations created by MAP-21, and related implementing procedures. Finally, the Interim Guidance outlines performance management requirements for both congestion and emissions measures required by MAP-21. Interim Guidance on Operating Assistance issued in June 2013 is incorporated in this document. The interim guidance is available on FHWA's CMAQ website FHWA will be hosting a webinar on November 18, 2013 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm EST to outline the content and take questions on the interim guidance. Registration for the webinar can be found on the National Highway Institute's website.

2014 Transportation/ Land Use Planning and Air Quality Conference. The Transportation Research Board Transportation and Air Quality Committee, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) - Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI)'s Planning, Economics and Finance Committee, the Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and other sponsors are seeking papers for 20 sessions for the 2014 Transportation/ Land Use Planning and Air Quality (TLUPAQ) Conference. The 2014 spotlight theme will be "Developing Healthy and Livable Communities". Contact Robert O'Loughlin at 415-744-3823, or robert.o'loughlin@dot.gov with questions.

2014 Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) 107th Annual Conference & Exhibition (ACE). The A&WMA is soliciting abstracts for the upcoming conference Navigating Environmental Crossroads to take place June 24 - 27, 2014 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. A special mini-symposium on the "Impacts of Transportation Hubs & Ports" is planned, as well as, "Determining Which Components of Particulate Matter May be Most Harmful." Contact Michael Claggett at (505) 820-2047, or michael.claggett@dot.gov for more information.

FHWA Releases FY14 Apportionment Notice. The FHWA Budget Division released the FY14 certificate of apportionment for Federal-aid highway program funds authorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The notice was issued October 1, 2013 and provides the basic annual apportionments prior to setasides and other adjustments for the major elements of the Federal-aid highway program; the CMAQ program-set at $2.3 billion for FY14-is included in the October 1 notice. The more detailed supplemental tables will be released at a later date. The apportionments are effective immediately and can be found on FHWA Notices Webpage.

FHWA Releases Three New CMAQ Brochures. Two revised and one completely new CMAQ brochures are now available on FHWA CMAQ Website. The brochures entitled CMAQ and MAP-21, CMAQ and Public Transportation are updates of earlier brochures and reflect changes prescribed by the MAP-21 Legislation, while the CMAQ and Diesel Retrofits brochure represents a new category under the CMAQ Program. Contact Mark Glaze at (202)366-4053, or mark.glaze@dot.gov for more information.

"Experimental Pilot" CMAQ Project in Kentucky wins APWA Award. On September 26, 2013, the Lexington Fayette-Urban County Governments (LFUCG) received a "Project of the Year" Award under the Roadway Signage category from the Kentucky Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the LFUCG joined together to install internally illuminated street signs to assist motorists when travelling the streets of Lexington, KY. The project provides air quality benefits, reduces congestion and also improves safety. Internally illuminated street signs improve visibility at high volume intersections, are extremely beneficial to older drivers or drivers unfamiliar with the roads, and are the most visible navigation aid in all kinds of weather. The signs are illuminated with Light Emitting Diodes (LED) which not only reduce emissions but also reduce maintenance costs. For more information about this project, contact Bernadette Dupont, FHWA Kentucky Division Office, at 502-223-6729.

EPA Announces the release of a MYSQL Script Correction. The MySQL script calculates design values for the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS when completing quantitative PM hot-spot analyses. The revision corrects a bug in the previous script for certain situations. The revised script is dated September 2013 and can be found on EPA's project-level conformity website. Any quantitative PM hot-spot analyses that are currently underway that rely on this script should incorporate the revised script. This script is not applicable for analyses for the annual PM2.5 NAAQS or 24-hour PM10 NAAQS. Any questions about using this script can be directed to Conformity-Hotspot@epa.gov.

Reminders

Areas with Insignificant Findings or Limited Maintenance Plans. While these areas are not required to satisfy the regional emissions analysis requirements in 40 CFR 93.118 and/or 93.119, a conformity determination for the plan, TIP, and project that meets the other requirements (such as interagency consultation, timely implementation of TCMs, etc.) of the transportation conformity rule is still required. Also, a hot-spot analysis is still required in CO areas and for projects of air quality concern in PM10 and PM2.5 areas. Contact the Emily Biondi at 202-366-9482 or emily.biondi@dot.gov with any questions.

FHWA Released the 2008 Ozone Nonattainment Maps. On March 27, 2008, EPA finalized new ozone standards which tightened the standard to 0.075 parts per million (ppm) from the previous, 1997 ozone standard of 0.08 ppm. On May 21, 2012, EPA finalized designations for this new ozone standard, effective July 20, 2012. The Office of Natural Environment prepared maps of the 2008 ozone nonattainment areas. These maps depict the 2008 ozone nonattainment area boundary, the 1997 ozone nonattainment/maintenance area boundary, along with the metropolitan planning organization boundaries. Contact Karen Perritt at 202-366-9066 or karen.perritt@dot.gov with any questions.

PM Quantitative Hot-spot Example Added to Conformity Practices Website. The purpose of the site is to serve as an easily searchable repository of examples of transportation conformity documents and processes that can be replicated in other areas of the country. The site contains examples and information about PM hot-spot analyses, carbon monoxide (CO) screening protocols, interagency consultation and more. FHWA recently added an example of a PM2.5 quantitative hot-spot analysis to its Examples of Transportation Conformity Practices website and plans to add additional examples in the near future. Contact Emily Biondi at (202) 366-9482 or emily.biondi@dot.gov with any questions.

End of EMFAC2011 Grace Period. All new regional and CO, PM10 and PM2.5 hot-spot transportation conformity analyses across California started after September 6, 2013 must be conducted using EMFAC2011. For more information, see the Federal Register Notice.

MAP-21 Highlights on Agency Websites. Presentations, questions & answers, and other vital information surrounding the legislation remain on FHWA's web pages. The CMAQ Program Interim Guidance, webinar presentation slides 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 are found on the agency's Laws and Regulations page.

FHWA Released 2008 8-Hour Ozone Frequently Asked Questions. On May 14, 2013, FHWA released a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to implementing the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. These FAQs address when conformity applies to the metropolitan transportation plan and TIP at the project level; transitioning from the 1997 to 2008 ozone standard for areas in nonattainment or maintenance for both; and how the planning process will be impacted by the transition to/from attainment. These FAQs are available on FHWA's website.

EPA Released Guidance for Area Designations for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA finalized changes to the particulate matter (PM) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in December 2012. 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). On April 16, 2013, EPA issued guidance that provides information on the schedule and process for initially designating areas for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Also included in the guidance are important factors that the EPA intends to evaluate in making final nonattainment area boundary decisions for this standard. Visit EPA's Designation Guidance and Data website for more information.

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 Fort Worth, TX on December 10-12, 2013. An additional session is being scheduled in San Francisco, CA in early 2014. This training course is free to employees of public agencies. For more information and to register, go to: NTI Conformity Training.

Air Quality Planning Web Course Available. The Air Quality Planning web-based training series is designed for transportation practitioners. It includes four modules: Clean Air Act Overview (FHWA-NHI-142068), State Implementation Plan (SIP) and Transportation Control Measure (TCM) Requirements and Policies (FHWA-NHI-142069), SIP Development Process (FHWA-NHI-142070) and Transportation Conformity (FHWA-NHI-142071). All courses are free. For more information, visit www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov, search Air Quality Planning or look for the specific course number. Please contact Karen Perritt at (202) 366-9066, or karen.perritt@dot.gov with any questions or comments.

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 training opportunities are 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 John Byun (joon.byun@dot.gov) or Paul Heishman (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.

MOVES Training. EPA and DOT jointly developed 2 MOVES training courses: (1) 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. (2) a two-day training course for developing SIPs and conformity analyses. For additional information on the two-day training sessions, visit EPA's MOVES training website. All training materials are also available on the MOVES training site.

Contacts

FHWA HQ Air Quality and 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: Victoria.Martinez@dot.gov.

Updated: 07/10/2014
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