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Transportation Conformity in North Carolina PowerPoint Presentation
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Transportation Conformity in North Carolina
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  1. Transportation Conformity in North Carolina

  2. Transportation Planning Framework 20-30 Year Comprehensive Transportation Plan Required by NCGS §136‑66.2. In MPOs, includes 20 year fiscally constrained LRTP and any additional projects (illustrative or vision) required to address transportation deficiencies 20-Year MPO Long Range Transportation Plan Developed by MPOs and submitted to FHWA, includes fiscal constraint. Transportation conformity is demonstrated on the LRTP 10-Year Program & Resource Plan (5 Year Plan & STIP) NCDOT Adoption, including all projects, programs and services (and full STIP) 4-Year STIP/TIP Approved by Feds FHWA Approval of STIP (including MPO TIPs) and conformity determinations for non-attainment areas

  3. The Clean Air Act (CAA) • Sets the framework and goals for improving air quality to protect public health • Sets provisions for the attainment and maintenance of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) • In North Carolina, the pollutants of concern are Ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM2.5) • Ensures that the State Implementation Plan (SIP) meets goals to protect human health, coordinates transportation and air quality planning processes and improves data and planning assumptions

  4. Conformity Basics

  5. What is Transportation Conformity? • A process that ensures that Federal funding and approval goes to transportation projects that are consistent with air quality goals • It applies in areas where transportation-related pollutants: • Are currently violating the NAAQS • Have violated the NAAQS in the past • It’s a way to meet CAA requirements and ensure that transportation plans, programs and projects do not: • Create new violations of the NAAQS • Increase the frequency or severity of NAAQS violations • Delay timely attainment of the NAAQS

  6. CONFORMITY Transportation Conformity… • Connects air quality and transportation planning Transportation Plan & TIP SIP

  7. Transportation Conformity… • Applies to • Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs) • Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) • Projects funded by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in nonattainment or maintenance areas

  8. Conformity Determination Frequency • For existing nonattainment or maintenance areas: • Every four years • Whenever an LRTP or TIP is updated • For newly designated areas: • Within one year after the effective date of designation

  9. Who Makes a Conformity Determination? • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) • In metropolitan areas • North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) • Areas outside of MPOs called Donut Areas • Federal Highway Administration – Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division • Federal Lands such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  10. Who Else is Involved in the Conformity Process? • Interagency consultation process involves many groups: • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) • Federal Transit Administration (FTA) • NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) • Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs) • NC Division of Air Quality (NCDAQ) • Other Local Transportation or Air Quality Agencies

  11. How is conformity determined? • Regional emissions analysis • Performed to show that the transportation plans/TIPs are consistent with the SIP motor vehicle emissions budgets • Must include all regionally significant projects and Federally-funded projects

  12. How is conformity determined? • Regionally significant projects • Transportation projects that serve regional transportation needs • Major activity centers • Major planned developments • New retail malls • Sports complexes • Transportation terminals • Principal arterials • All fixed guide way transit facilities • The MPO/RPO/NCDOT determines what projects are regionally significant • The interagency consultation partners review the list and negotiate agreement on list of regionally significant projects

  13. What if conformity determination cannot be made? • The use of Federal aid funds is stopped • Impacts design work, right-of-way acquisition, construction, permitting and approval of environmental documents

  14. What initiates the need for a conformity determination? • Designation of a new non-attainment area • Must be made within one year after designation • Adoption or amendment of a LRTP • Adoption or amendment of a local TIP or Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) • Modification to the SIP • End of the four-year required update clock

  15. When Do The Requirements for Transportation Conformity End? • After a nonattainment area is redesignated to a maintenance area AND • maintenance area has successfully performed conformity for a minimum 20 year period

  16. Maintenance Areas in NC • 8-Hour Ozone • Metrolina: Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell(p), Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Union • Triangle: Chatham(p), Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Orange, Person, Wake • Rocky Mount: Edgecombe and Nash • Great Smoky Mountain National Park:National Park Boundary of Haywood and Swain

  17. Maintenance Areas in NC • CO • Metrolina: Mecklenburg • Triangle: Durham and Wake • Triad: Forsyth • PM 2.5 • Triad: Guilford and Davidson • Hickory: Catawba

  18. Conformity Process

  19. Long Range Transportation Plan • Developed by the MPO (2 to 4 year process) • Transportation Advisory Committee endorsement of LRTP pending conformity determination • Conformity work begins at year 3 of this process

  20. Interagency Consultation Meeting • Lead by MPO/NCDOT/FHWA • MPO, RPO, Local AQ Agency, NCDOT, NCDAQ, FHWA, EPA, FTA • Consensus Plan documents conformity parameters • LRTP horizon years, conformity analysis years, Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets, mobile model, Travel Demand Model, non-modeled area analysis, etc. • Conformity schedule

  21. Transportation Modeling • Model run by MPO and/or NCDOT • 70 Days • Travel Demand Model (TDM) • Extract Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and Speeds • Used to develop emission factors

  22. Emission Factor Development • Mobile Model Run by NCDAQ • 15 Days

  23. Draft Conformity Determination Report (CDR) • Report is drafted by MPO and NCDOT • Report Generation takes approx. 10 Days

  24. Review and Comment of Draft CDR • NCDAQ Reviews the report • 21 Days • Mandated by State Law • Document is also reviewed by EPA, FHWA, FTA, Local Air Quality Agency, RPO and NCDOT • Major conformity issues addressed/resolved

  25. Final Conformity Determination Report • Interagency Consultation Meetingbetween FHWA, NCDOT, and MPO • Discuss review comments and agency responses • Issue resolution • “Clean” review letterprovided by NCDAQ • Final CDRis written by MPO and NCDOT • Adds about 5 Days to the schedule

  26. Final CDR Public Review and Comment Period • Hosted by MPO and RPO • 30 Day Minimum • Address comments and document responses • Interagency Consultation Meeting (if necessary) (MPO/NCDOT/FHWA) • MPO TAC makes conformity determination and adopts LRTP/TIP(MPO/NCDOT)

  27. Federal Review of Final CDR and LRTP • Reviewed by FHWA, EPA, and FTA • 30 Days • “Clean” Review Letter (EPA) • USDOT Conformity Determination(FTA/FHWA) • Process Complete • 9 to 12 months