Proposed  Rule:
                   Transportation Conformity  Rule
                   Restructuring Amendments
                   T
         he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing
         amendments to the transportation conformity rule.
                       EPA is proposing to restructure two sections of the transportation
                        conformity rule so that existing requirements would apply under
                        any new or revised National Ambient Air Quality Standards
                        (NAAQS). This part of the proposal should reduce the need to
                        amend the rule in the future merely to reference a specific NAAQS.
                        These administrative revisions would provide more certainty to
                        transportation planners without compromising environmental
                        benefits.
                       EPA is also proposing to make the conformity rule more consistent
                        by requiring that planners analyze a near-term year when using
                        the budget test if the attainment year has already passed or has not
                        yet been established. The budget test demonstrates that total on-
                        road emissions projected for a metropolitan transportation plan (or
                        "TIP") are within the emissions limits ("budgets") established by
                        the state air quality implementation plan (or "SIP").

                   This proposed rule would ensure that air quality is protected and would
                   clarify requirements for implementers.

                   EPA has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Transportation to
                   develop this proposed rule.


                   Background
                   Transportation conformity is a Clean Air Act requirement that ensures that federally
                   supported highway and transit projects are consistent with state air quality implemen-
                   tation plans. Conformity helps protect public health through early consideration of
SEPA
United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
Office of Transportation and Air Quality
                 EPA-420-F-10-001
                     August 2010

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the air quality impacts of transportation decisions in places where air quality does not currently
meet federal standards or has not met them in the past.
Key Elements of the Proposed Rule
The proposed rule restructures two sections of the conformity rule, 40 CFR 93.109 and 93.119,
so that the existing rule requirements would clearly apply to areas designated nonattainment for
future new or revised NAAQS, thus reducing the need to amend the transportation conformity
rule merely to reference specific new NAAQS,

The proposed rule would also require that when the attainment year of a NAAQS has passed
or has not yet been established, a near-term year would be analyzed when using the budget test.
Specifically, where the attainment year has not yet been established or it is no longer in the
timeframe of the transportation plan and conformity determination, areas designated nonattain'
ment or maintenance for a NAAQS would be required to analyze a year no more than five years
beyond the year in which the conformity determination is being made.
Health and Environmental Benefits
The proposed rule would ensure that transportation activities are consistent with air quality
goals of the existing transportation conformity program. The proposed rule would ensure that all
NAAQS nonattainment and maintenance areas use conformity tests that ensure that air quality
progress continues in areas that need to attain or maintain the NAAQS,
Public Participation Opportunities
We welcome your comments on this proposed rule. Comments will be accepted for 30 days
beginning when this proposal is published in the Federal Register,

All comments should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0128 and submitted
by one of the following methods:

          Internet: www.regulations.gov
          E-mail: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov
          Fax: (202) 566-9744
          Mail:
            Air Docket, Environmental Protection Agency
            Mail Code: 2822T
            1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
            Washington, DC  20460
          Hand Delivery:
            EPA West Building
            EPA Docket Center (Room 3334)
            1301 Constitution Avenue NW
            Washington, DC

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For More Information
You can access documents on transportation conformity on EPA's Office of Transportation and
Air Quality Web site at:

          www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/index.htm

For further information on this proposed rule, please contact
          Patty Klavon
          U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
          Office of Transportation and Air Quality
          2000 Traverwood Drive
          Ann Arbor, MI48105
          734-214-4476
          E-mail: klavon.patty@epa.gov
Or
          Laura Berry
          U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
          Office of Transportation and Air Quality
          2000 Traverwood Drive
          Ann Arbor, MI 48105
          734-214-4858
          E-mail: berry.laura@epa.gov

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