Integrating Transportation and Air Quality Planning-Phase III

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have entered into an Interagency Agreement to support the project titled "Integrating Air Quality and Transportation Planning". The National Association of Regional Councils( NARC) will enhance the transportation and air quality planning capabilities of Metropolitian Planning Organizations( MPO)s and Council of Governments (COG)s by facilitating the exchange of information among current practitioners, and between experienced and inexperienced planners. This will be accomplished in two ways: through production of a case-study type guidebook and through workshops to provide technical assistance to air quality and transportation planning practitioners. NARC will work with the involved parties to present the findings of the case studies at workshops and conferences attended by practitioners. Examples include the NARC and Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) annual conferences and transportation planning conferences. Regional Councils (RC)'s and MPOs in nonattainment and maintenance areas have done a remarkable job developing the capacity to meet the conformity requirements of long-range transportation plans and transportation improvement programs. EPA is on the verge of implementing the 8-hour ozone and PM 2.5 standards, which COGs and MPOs will be responsible for implementing. There are a few incentives for choosing projects to include in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The proposed series of workshops are targeted to help COGs and MPOs think beyond the goal of clean air, to include consideration of economics, transportation planning factors, and the long-term health effects of emissions. This cooperative agreement will continue to improve capacity to develop solutions to meet the 8-hour ozone and PM 2.5 standards. NARC will continue outreach to COGs and MPOs to help them understand and ultimately attain the new standards.