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Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Highlights

September 2011

Prepared by the Office of Natural and Human Environment Federal Highway Administration - Publication Number FHWA-HEP-12-004

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Announcements and Recent Events

EPA Issues Direct Final Rule to Extend Grace Period for Use of MOVES in Regional Analysis. On October 4, EPA issued a direct final rule to extend the grace period for the use of the MOVES2010a model in regional emissions analyses for transportation conformity determinations. The new grace period will end on March 2, 2013. Comments are due within 30 days, and if EPA receives no adverse comments, the Rule would be effective thirty days later. It is important to note that this extension does not affect EPA's previously established two year grace period for the use of MOVES2010a for carbon monoxide and particulate matter hot-spot analyses for project level conformity determinations. New hot-spot analyses will be required to use MOVES2010a after the end of the grace period on December 20, 2012. For more information, see: MOVES2010a Grace Period Extension.

EPA Implementing 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). On September 2, President Obama announced that the 2013 review of the ozone NAAQS would be the forum to consider tightening the standard beyond 0.075 ppm. On September 22 EPA sent a letter to Air Division Directors in its ten regional offices announcing that it is moving ahead with implementation of the 0.075 ppm ozone NAAQS announced in 2008. EPA announced the nonattainment designations in 2009 but will be gathering the latest monitoring data prior to making final designations. The letter indicated that EPA will soon be initiating rulemaking and establishing classification thresholds under the standard and then will make the final designations by mid-2012. Preliminary data based on monitoring data from 2008-2010 shows 52 metropolitan areas violate the 0.075 ppm NAAQS. For more information, see: ozone NAAQS.

National Research Council Releases Report on Health Impact Assessments (HIAs). The NRC recently released Improving Health in the United States: The Role of Health Impact Assessment. This report notes the role of Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) in evaluating the health consequences of decisions in both the public and private sector activities such as building a road or planning a city's growth. The report provides a six step framework for conducting HIAs at the federal, state, or local level. The report can be found at: NRC HIA Report.

EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Teleconference on New Road NO2 Monitoring. EPA's CASAC Air Monitoring and Methods Subcommittee (AMMS) held a public teleconference on September 29 to review EPA's Near Road NO2 Monitoring Technical Assistance Document. For more information and to review the August 2011 draft Technical Assistance Document, go to: Near Road NO2 TAD.

Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) Releases 2011 Urban Mobility Report. TTI issued the 2011 Urban Mobility Report that provides detailed information on traffic problems in 439 U.S. urban areas. The report notes that while the recession has provided temporary relief from growing congestion, when economic growth returns the average commuter will see an additional 3 hours of delay annually by 2015, up from 34 hours today. For the full report, see: 2011 Urban Mobility Report.

California Air Resources Board (CARB) Releases EMFAC2011. CARB recently announced the release of EMFAC 2011, the latest version of EMFAC, California's emission model for estimating on-road mobile source emissions. EMFAC2011 includes the latest information on vehicle population and miles traveled in California. This includes California's Truck and Bus rule and other diesel fleet rules, and recently adopted greenhouse gas regulations including the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the Pavley Clean Car Standard. EMFAC2011 is available for download at: EMFAC2011.


EPA Finalizes Carbon Monoxide Standards. EPA recently finalized the carbon monoxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and new monitoring requirements. EPA retained the current CO NAAQS which is 9 ppm for the 8-hour NAAQS and 35 ppm for the 1-hour NAAQS. There are no secondary CO standards. EPA is also changing the monitoring requirements for CO by requiring the co-location of one CO monitor with a "near-road" NO2 monitor in urban areas with 1 million or more population. Currently, there are no CO nonattainment areas. For more information, see: CO Standards.

FY 2011 Supplementary Tables Released. On July 1, FHWA released a Notice to provide supplementary tables related to FY 2011 Apportionments under the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010, as amended, and the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011. The Notice includes program-by-program, State-by-State apportionment amounts including information on the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). For more information, see: FY 2011 Supplementary Tables.

CMAQ Public Access System Available on the FHWA's Air Quality Website. This release of the CMAQ Public Access System (PAS) makes searchable project information available for projects funded from 1992 through 2009. The PAS webpage along with CMAQ system support and guidance information will be reachable through the FHWA Air Quality CMAQ website. For questions related to the PAS, contact Mark Glaze at (202)366-4053.

Continuation of the CMAQ 100 percent Federal Share Flexibility The Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007 amended Title 23 to provide a temporary full Federal share (at 100 percent) for CMAQ projects obligated in Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009. This increased Federal share will continue to apply to CMAQ projects during the most recent SAFETEA-LU extension. In practice, the Federal share flexibility is continued as it was on September 30, 2009, when SAFETEA-LU expired. Any questions related to the CMAQ program should be directed to Mike Koontz at (202)366-2076.

AMPO Annual Meeting October 25-28, 2011. The AMPO Annual Meeting will be held in Dallas, Texas from October 25-28, 2011. The conference includes sessions on sustainability, climate change, bicycle and pedestrian planning, innovative finance, performance measures and much more. For more information, see: AMPO 2011 Annual Meeting.

TRB 2012 Annual Meeting. The TRB 91st Annual Meeting will be held on January 22-26, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Early registration rates expire on November 30. For more information and to register, go to: TRB 2012.

MOVES/EMFAC Two-year Grace Period for Hot-Spot Analyses Started December 20, 2010. To access the Federal Register notice, guidance documents, and fact sheets, go to: EPA's Project Level Conformity.

Training Opportunities

National Transit Institute Introduction to Transportation Conformity Course Scheduled. The NTI course, "Introduction to Transportation Conformity", will be offered in New York City on January10-12, 2012, and in Phoenix, AZ in Spring of 2012. The two and one-half day course is free to employees of public agencies. For more information and to register, go to: NTI Conformity Training.

Transportation Conformity Training Courses. FHWA is sponsoring a two-day Introduction to Transportation Conformity training course in response to requests from various states. For more information or if you are interested in hosting a training session, please contact Sarah Siwek, FHWA's contractor for these courses at

Conformity 101 Training Available On-Line. FHWA has made a short course titled "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 (expired link).

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. For further information, contact: Mike Roberts at (404)562-3928.


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, upcoming training schedule, 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.


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:

Updated: 10/20/2015
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