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   May 09

PM standards revision

In a series of actions, EPA provided criteria for determining which transportation projects must be reviewed for hot spot analysis, in PM-2.5 and PM-10 nonattainment and maintainence areas. In order to conform with the provisions in the Clean Air Act (CAA) states have to ensure, while planning to meet the NAAQS requirements, in federally funded projects. Such federally funded transportation projects should not cause, new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay in timely attainment of relevant NAAQS.

In order to understand the implementation of relevant NAAQS standards it is very important to understand the underlying transportation conformity requirements on project basis and designated areas basis. Conformity procedures were provided by EPA for local agencies, under the ozone and PM-2.5 air quality standards. EPA also, proposed a final rule in May 2005, with specifications for transportation related precursors to PM-2.5. EPA also specifies when precursors apply in transportation conformity determinations.

Hot spot analysis evaluate the air quality impacts on a much smaller scale as compared to an non-attainment area or maintainence area. This is where I envisage, an idea for integrating air quality models. Integrating air quality models into spatial models would help to visualize the air quality impacts due to a transporation project much more faster and efficiently.

In air quality modeling, Qualitative analysis is very easy, since, it can be based on air monitoring conducted near a proposed project. EPA is yet to require, air dispersion modeling for PM-10. There exists a lack of modeling guidance in evaluating

Quantitative hot-spot analysis, requirements is evaluated in consultation with EPA by the USDOT.

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