Air Quality Conformity
Public Comment Opportunity for Regional Conformity Assessment
The Clean Air Act requires that federally funded highway and transit projects will conform to air quality requirements. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has assessed FAMPO’s transportation project list for the 2050 Long Range Transportation Plan (and the FY21- 24 Transportation Improvement Program) and determined that the list will conform to all federal, state, and local air quality goals.
Before the draft findings are final, the public has a chance to review the findings document and provide comments. The comment period will begin on October 6, 2021, and end on November 5, 2021. The document is rather technical, but a summary of the findings can be found on PDF page 8 (document page 5) under the heading “Conclusion”. Review the Draft Regional Conformity Assessment document and provide your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 642-1235. Paper copies and translation are available on request.
There will be a public hearing before the draft conformity findings are adopted. The public may attend the public hearing and provide their comments and concerns directly to the FAMPO decision-making board, the Policy Committee. The public hearing will be held on October 18, 2021, at 6:00 pm at 406 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. To attend the meeting virtually, join the meeting from your computer, tablet, or smartphone by visiting: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/830528245 For your smartphone or tablet, you may search your app store for GoToMeeting. If you are unable to join by computer, smartphone, or tablet, you can dial in using your phone: 1 (872) 240-3212 Access Code: 830-528-245
About Air Quality Conformity
The transportation system affects air quality. It is important to consider air quality when planning transportation projects because motorized vehicles emit pollutants. Projects that remove motorized vehicles from the road can reduce harmful emissions while projects that add capacity to roadways will often increase harmful emissions.
Federal transportation conformity (“conformity”) requirements ensure that federal funding and approval go to those transportation activities that are consistent with air quality goals. Conformity requirements apply to transportation plans, transportation improvement programs (TIPs), and projects funded or approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in areas that do not meet, or previously have not met, air quality standards for ozone, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, or nitrogen dioxide. Regulations governing transportation conformity are found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR Parts 51 and 93).
Geographic areas that do not meet the federal air quality standards are designated as “nonattainment areas”. Geographic areas that at one time violated air quality standards, but no longer do, are designated as “maintenance areas”. FAMPO is designated as a maintenance area. Nonattainment and maintenance areas have special transportation planning requirements to help them conform to air quality standards. For example, new transportation plans must undergo an air quality conformity analysis.
Air Quality Conformity Analysis Report for FAMPO
The report linked below presents the air quality conformity assessment for FAMPO’s 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Fiscal Years 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The report indicates that the FAMPO 2045 LRTP and Fiscal Years 2021-2024 TIP demonstrate conformity with the Environmental Protection Agency’s transportation conformity rule and related guidance.