During the scan visits, each area was asked what guidance, technical assistance and/or training the FHWA/FTA/EPA might develop that would be helpful in the conformity process. Below is a listing of those ideas as suggested by the scan participants.
Clarification of sub-area budgets and lapse consequences in such areas - Participants indicated an interest in having clarification of what happens in areas where sub-area budgets are in place in the event of a conformity lapse.
Rural Area Conformity Guidance - FHWA and EPA have recently completed a study of rural areas and anticipate issuing guidance to help these areas understand the conformity requirements for rural areas.
Tools for new nonattainment areas, especially for off-model analysis. Participants suggested that new nonattainment areas in particular could benefit from the availability of off-model tools for analysis, especially to estimate the impacts of transportation control measures on emissions.
Improved definition of fiscal constraint for the plan - The working definition of fiscal constraint may be different in different areas. Participants in the scan project indicated an interest in a consistent definition.
Documentation Process for model inputs and changes - During the scan project, a number of examples were cited in the importance of good documentation for model inputs and changes to inputs. Participants suggested that this is an area where good practice is replicable and could help MPOs in carrying out their responsibilities.
Definition of travel on ramps for use in MOBILE6 - MOBILE6 includes default information on travel on highway ramps. In some areas, this information is not representative of the area and it was suggested that more assistance on collecting or adopting local information could be helpful.
Better information and data on freight travel - Information on freight travel is lacking in many areas and local or regional studies are often needed to understand local conditions and freight characteristics.
Tool to define FHWA vehicle class profiles using the 28 vehicle types in MOBILE6
Vehicle age distribution data sources that do not require VIN decoder software (e.g., I/M program data)
Peer exchange between MPOs, Technology Transfer, Information Clearinghouse - The FHWA has established the Conformity - Community of Practice website in an effort to provide and share information among conformity stakeholders.
Resources for Legal Costs and the right to designate a single point for review by outside interests in the conformity process - These issues were raised in an area that has expended a considerable amount of time and money on issues related to litigation.