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2034 LRTP Update Air Quality Conformity

2034 LRTP Update   Air Quality Conformity

On June 16, 2011, the HRTPO Board approved the 2034 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) final list of projects for air quality conformity analysis.
Air Quality Conformity is the link between air quality improvement and transportation planning.  Before the 2034 LRTP can be implemented, the HRTPO must first demonstrate that the projects within the LRTP are compliant with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s State Implementation Plan (SIP), which is the state air quality plan. The SIP establishes regional pollutant thresholds for various sectors.  The LRTP must ensure that estimated motor vehicle emissions generated from the projects in the Plan will not exceed the emissions limits set in the SIP’s motor vehicle emissions budget.  In simpler terms, LRTPs must show that transportation projects within the Plan do not produce pollutants that exceed regional thresholds.  Otherwise, the transportation projects cannot be federally funded or approved.

The air quality conformity analysis for the 2034 LRTP is scheduled to begin in July with an Interagency Consultation Group (ICG) meeting to discuss and approve the models, methods and latest planning assumptions that will be used in the analysis process.  Draft results are expected in September for review and comment.  Final results are scheduled to be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in October.  After federal review, FHWA and FTA will issue a joint Transportation Conformity Finding, targeted for December.  The Transportation Conformity Finding is federal endorsement that the transportation projects in the LRTP are compliant with the SIP.  Once this determination is made, the HRTPO can adopt the 2034 LRTP as the regional transportation plan.

To open a larger view of the 2034 LRTP Air Quality Conformity Schedule, 

AQ_LRTP Schedule_06.20.pdf (42.59 kb)


Learn more about the Transportation Conformity, Clean Air Act, Ozone, and Common Pollutants:

The Bridge to Cleaner Air: Transportation Conformity:  This brochure provides general background on the transportation conformity process, as well as a description of benefits of the conformity program.

Plain English Guide to Clean Air Act: This guide provides a brief introduction to the programs, philosophies, and policies in the Clean Air Act--especially those reflected in the latest major changes to the Act in 1990.

Ozone: Good Up High, Bad Nearby:  Ozone acts as a protective layer high above the earth, but it can be harmful to breathe. This publication provides basic information about ground-level and high-altitude ozone.

Common Pollutants:  The EPA sets standards for six common pollutants.  Find out information on sources of the pollutant, why the pollutant is of concern, health and environmental effects, and efforts underway to help reduce the pollutant.

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