Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
PlanningEnvironmentReal Estate

HEP Events Guidance Publications Awards Contacts

Advancing New Transportation Control Measures During a Conformity Lapse

  1. Interim Plan and TIP Requirements

    Federal transportation law requires that projects must be in a plan and TIP to receive Title 23 and Title 49 funds. Therefore, in the event of a conformity lapse, an MPO must create an Interim Plan and TIP for any projects to be federally-funded and approved during the lapse, including exempt projects and transportation control measures (TCMs). The Interim Plan and TIP must be developed in a manner consistent with 23 U.S.C. 134, particularly these criteria:

    1. The Interim Plan and TIP must be developed based on previous planning assumptions and goals; appropriately adjusted for currently available projections for population growth, economic activity and other relevant data.

    2. The Interim Plan and TIP must be developed with public involvement consistent with the normal transportation plan and program development processes.

    3. The Interim Plan and TIP must satisfy the Title 23 and 49 requirements for financial planning and constraint, and, as appropriate, for congestion management systems.

    4. The Interim TIP must be approved by the MPO and the Governor (or the Governor's designee).

  2. TCMs in a previously conforming Plan and TIP

    Projects in the previously conforming transportation plan must be included in the Interim Plan and TIP if State and local agencies intend to request EPA to approve them into the SIP as new TCMs (as defined in 40 CFR 93.101 of the transportation conformity rule which includes TCMs defined by Section 108(f)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act (CAA)) and if they have emission reductions benefits. The TCMs can not proceed during a conformity lapse until they are contained in an EPA approved SIP with identifiable emission reduction benefits. States may, but are not required to, apply the identified emission reduction benefits directly as SIP credits in control strategy SIPs and maintenance plans. Future conformity analyses may reflect the emission reduction benefits identified in the SIP for regionally significant TCMs; such emission reduction benefits must be adjusted to reflect latest planning assumptions (40 CFR 93.110) at the time of the conformity analysis, and as appropriate to meet the requirements of 40 CFR 93.122. For non-regionally significant TCMs, the emission reduction benefits identified in the SIP may be used for future conformity analyses; such emission reduction benefits must be adjusted to reflect latest planning assumptions (40 CFR 93.110) at the time of the conformity analysis, and as appropriate to meet the requirements of 40 CFR 93.122(a).

  3. New TCMs not from a previously conforming Plan and TIP

    New TCMs, not included in a previously conforming Plan and TIP, may be advanced during a conformity lapse provided they are included in an Interim Plan and TIP that meet the criteria in Section A and are contained in an EPA approved SIP with identified emission reduction benefits. They must also meet the following criteria:

    1. They must be identified through the interagency consultation process (i.e., Federal, State, and local transportation and air quality agencies).

    2. They must be described at a level of detail and analysis appropriate to their overall level of investment and complexity (i.e., regionally significant TCMs must be described and analyzed at a significant level of detail, appropriate to the scale of the project and adequate for emissions analysis purposes, while non-regionally significant TCMs may be presented in much less detail).

    3. If regionally significant (as defined in 40 CFR 93.101), they must be shown to yield reduced emissions on a regional basis compared to regional emissions without the TCMs for the analysis period. The analysis period will include the SIPs milestone year(s) (if relevant), and the year the TCMs are open to traffic or become operational (if the TCMs's schedule is outside the SIP's time frame). Transportation and air quality planners must consult with each other on the methodologies used to estimate the transportation and air quality benefits of the regionally significant projects. Off-model analysis techniques must be used, to the extent possible, to quantify emissions benefits for non-regionally significant TCMs. Appropriate techniques will be decided through interagency consultation.

    4. The TCMs will be submitted as a SIP revision to EPA for approval, and their emissions benefits must be identified to support EPA's approval into the SIP. TCMs can not proceed during a lapse until they are contained in an EPA approved SIP with identifiable emission reduction benefits. States may, but are not required to, apply the identified emission reduction benefits directly as SIP credits in control strategy SIPs and maintenance plans. Future conformity analyses may reflect the emission reduction benefits identified in the SIP for regionally significant TCMs; such emission reduction benefits must be adjusted to reflect latest planning assumptions (40 CFR 93.110) at the time of the conformity analysis, and as appropriate to meet the requirements of 40 CFR 93.122. For non-regionally significant TCMs, the emission reduction benefits identified in the SIP may be used for future conformity analyses; such emission reduction benefits must be adjusted to reflect latest planning assumptions (40 CFR 93.110) at the time of the conformity analysis, and as appropriate to meet the requirements of 40 CFR 93.122(a).

Under this scenario, the State and MPO may advance any TCMs defined by 40 CFR 93.101 of the transportation conformity rule (which includes TCMs defined by Section 108(f)(1)(A) of the CAA).

It is expected that the process necessary to develop Interim Plans and TIPs with new projects, not previously conforming, will take most areas at least 6 months. Areas which expect to return to conformity earlier than 6 months should concentrate on reestablishing conformity, rather than embarking on developing an Interim Plan and TIP, for new projects.

The DOT's planning regulations and EPA's conformity regulation will be amended to clarify the implementation of the TCMs processes outlined above.

Updated: 07/06/2011
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000