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Guidance for Qualitative Project Level "Hot Spot" Analysis in PM-10 Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas

Summary of Guidance

This guidance, developed in coordination with EPA, attempts to fill a gap in the understanding of what analysis is required under the law and current regulation relating to particulate matter (PM) pollution from transportation sources.

It is general in nature in the form of questions and answers which address many commonly asked questions about PM. Individual areas will have their own needs and should consult with Federal, State, or local agencies that can provide them with more detailed information about transportation sources of PM and its mitigation.

The first section addresses many procedural issues such as what requirements must be met, what are the different agencies involved in PM conformity determinations and their roles, when must the analysis be performed, and other information necessary to perform a PM analysis. This document indicates that there are many agencies involved in the evaluation of PM air quality issues. The analyst needs to coordinate efforts with the other agencies having similar responsibilities.

Attached to this guidance in an appendix are several examples of qualitative PM analysis. These examples demonstrate different levels of inquiry that may be used to qualitatively consider the impacts of various projects on PM-10 levels in a given area. These examples are not the only ones available. They simply provide an overview of some relevant factors in a qualitative analysis and how they might be used.

As noted above, this guidance is not definitive for any project but guidance for all projects. This must be considered as one reads this and applies it to their location. Additional assistance is available from State and local agencies, EPA, and FHWA Resource Centers and the Headquarter's Offices.

Updated: 7/6/2011
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