Template for a Categorical Finding for Particulate Matter
Research Idea Scope
Federal and state objectives for streamlining project development may be supported in general by the development and implementation of programmatic agreements (PAs) and, where federal requirements for transportation conformity apply, categorical findings (CFs) that serve to streamline the environmental clearance process. This proposal is for the development of a template for a CF for project-level air quality analyses for particulate matter that state DOTs, working with EPA and US DOT as appropriate, could customize for their respective jurisdictions based on local data and conditions .The deliverables would include templates for the overall finding (document and web page), technical support document (TSD) that provides the details of the underlying traffic, emission and dispersion modeling, and modeling files. For background, the US DOT in consultation with the EPA recently issued a categorical finding (CF) for carbon monoxide (CO) that allows projects to be cleared for purposes of the federal transportation conformity rule for that pollutant without project-specific modeling, Similarly, the NCHRP 25-25 Task 78 study in progress (and near completion) is developing a programmatic agreement (PA) for CO that would allow projects to be cleared for purposes of NEPA. It is also developing a template PA for CO that state DOTs may customize based on local data and conditions. This related work may serve as a conceptual starting point for the development of the proposed template for a CF for PM.
Urgency and Payoff
Requirements for modeling PM are still relatively new, and any means to streamline the complicated and challenging process involved would be of significant benefit to State DOTs and other project sponsors.
Christopher Voigt Virginia DOT (804) 371-6764