The regulations that have been drafted to implement the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 require MARC to enter into interagency agreements with state highway departments, area transit agencies, and state and local air agencies detailing responsibilities for actions required under the federal laws.
Interagency agreements will, at a minimum, address work programs and administrative procedures required to accomplish air quality planning and transportation planning and programming. These agreements will provide for cooperative technical review of transportation and air quality issues in advance of the publication of draft documents for public review and comment. In some instances, the agencies will participate in the planning process through representation on MARC committees. In other cases, additional working relationships, prior consultation, or more formal procedures may be needed.
Interagency agreements have been included in the regional transportation work program and incorporation in the state implementation plans for air quality and were subject to public review through MARC's participation process as well as processes required by the states of Kansas and Missouri.
Interagency consultation procedures were prepared by a working group from the following agencies:
Mid-American Regional Council (MARC), Missouri Highway and Transportation Department (MHTD), Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The consultation procedures were drafted with a deliberate attempt to incorporate conformity into the region's present planning and programming processes and to rely on the present regional committee structure. Consultation on conformity issues will be assured by three specific methods:
Consultation during air quality and transportation planning or programming processes will be assured through identification of the sequence of conformity analysis and discussion for each type of process and requiring both an early consideration of conformity issues and an opportunity for formal comment prior to official action on a plan or program.
Consultation on key planning assumptions will occur at least annually at a meeting of federal, state, and local air quality transportation agencies.
Consultation will be facilitated by maintenance and update of a "notebook" that includes summaries of regional air quality and transportation plans and programs. The notebooks will be located at the offices of MARC, state and federal transportation, air quality agencies, and at public libraries throughout the region.
The initial drafts of the consultation procedures suggested that local transportation interests be represented by three persons appointed by TTPC. At the request of KCATA and KDOT, the TTPC recommended that the local transportation representation be expanded to one transit representative and one roadway representative from each state.
Following is a more lengthy summary of the draft interagency consultation procedures:
Definition of Consultation:
Consultation in the transportation conformity process means that one party confers with another identified party, provides all information to that party needed for meaningful input; and considers the views of that party and responds to those views in a timely, substantive written manner prior to any final decision on such action. Such views and written responses shall be made part of the record of any decision or action.
Consultation procedures shall be undertaken by the following agencies:
Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Board and
The Total Transportation Policy Committee (TTPC),
Missouri Highway and Transportation Department (MHTD),
Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT),
Region VII offices of FHWA and FTA,
Kansas and Missouri division offices of FHWA
Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)
Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE),
MARC Air Quality Forum (AQF), and EPA Region VII.
Consultation shall take place before making conformity determinations.
It is the responsibility of the agency(ies), which prepares the final document to initiate the consultation process by notifying other participants of the proposed planning or programming process for the development of various planning or programming products.
The proposed planning or programming process must included at a minimum the following:
The time sequence and adequacy of the consultation opportunities will be reviewed and determined for each type of planning or programming process by consensus of the consultation agencies at a meeting convened by the responsible agency for that purpose.
As a matter of policy, planning or programming processes must meet two tests.
Representatives of the conformity consulting agencies shall meet no less frequently than annually for the specific purpose of reviewing changes in transportation and air quality planning assumptions with regard to how these assumptions potentially impact the SIP mobile source emissions inventory, mobile source emissions budget and/or conformity determinations.
Local government transportation interests will be represented by four persons (representing transit and roadway interests from each state) appointed by the chairs of the TTPC and local government air quality interests will be represented by four persons (at least one from each state) appointed by the chairs of AQF. The air quality representation will not duplicate representation from transportation agencies.
It shall be the affirmative responsibility of each of the consulting agencies to advise MARC of any pending changes in their planning assumptions. MARC will generally be responsible for convening a meeting to review planning assumptions in August of each year.
If a data collection, planning or study process is proposed to evaluate a planning assumption that may have a significant impact on the SIP mobile source emissions inventory, mobile source emissions budget and/or conformity determinations, all the conformity agencies shall be given an opportunity to provide advisory input into that process.
Whenever a change in air quality or transportation planning assumptions is proposed that my have a significant impact on the SIP mobile source emissions inventory, mobile source emissions budget and/or conformity determinations, the agency proposing the change must provide all the consulting agencies an opportunity to review the basis for the proposed change. All consulting agencies shall be given the opportunity to provide a timely (30 days) analysis of the impact of a proposed change in planning assumptions from their perspective consideration prior to final action by the agency proposing the change.
It is the responsibility of the responsible agency to maintain a complete and accurate record of all agreements, planning and programming process, and consultation activities required under the provisions herein and to make these documents available for public inspections upon request. In addition, the responsible agency must prepare reasonably understandable summary information to the general public. This summary information will be accompanied by a complete list of all supporting information, along with the location of the documents and how they can be accessed. The summary documents and complete listing of supporting and supplemental information will be included in a notebook maintained within the offices of each of the conformity consulting agencies and at the branch libraries.
An interagency consultation process involving the AQF, the TTPC and MARC Board, MDNR, KDHE, MHTD, EPA, FHWA and FTA shall be undertaken for various activities, including the following, all of which shall be initiated by MARC:
An interagency consultation process in accordance with paragraph (b) involving the AQF, the TTPC and MARC Board, MDNR, KDHE, MHTD, and KDOT shall be undertaken for the following:
Prior to establishing a metropolitan planning area that does not include the entire nonattainment or maintenance area, the interagency consultation process must be supplemented by a formal memorandum of agreement, incorporated herein by reference, executed by MARC and the state air and transportation agencies for cooperative planning and analysis.
A process (initiated by MARC) shall be initiated to ensure that plans for construction of regionally significant projects which are not FHWA/FTA projects (including projects for which alternative locations, design concept and scope, or the no-build option are still being considered), including those by recipients of funds designated under title 23 U.S.C. or the Federal Transit Act, are disclosed to the MPO on a regular basis, and to ensure that any changes to those plans are immediately disclosed.
The sponsor of any such regionally significant project, and any agency that becomes aware of any such project through applications for approval, permitting or funding or otherwise, shall disclose such project to MARC in a timely manner.
An interagency consultation process (initiated by MARC) shall be conducted for assuming the location and design concept and scope of projects which are disclosed to MARC, but whose sponsors have not yet decided these features in sufficient detail to perform the regional emissions analysis according to the requirements of §51.452
An interagency consultation process to be initiated by MARC and involving MDNR, KDHE, AQF, MHTD, KDOT and the TTPC, shall be undertaken for the design, schedule, and funding of research and data collection efforts and regional transportation model development by the MPO.
Public consultation procedures.
Affected agencies making conformity determinations on transportation plans, programs, and projects shall establish a proactive public involvement process. This process will provide opportunity for public review and comment prior to taking formal action on a conformity determination for transportation plans and TIPs, consistent with the requirements of 23 CFR part 50.