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The project logo Draft Air Quality Conformity Statement for the LRTP 2045 and TIP 2020-2024

The project logo Draft Air Quality Conformity Statement for the LRTP 2045 and TIP 2020-2024

As part of its transportation planning process, the Genesee Transportation Council must complete a transportation conformity process for the Long Range Transportation Plan for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region 2045 (LRTP 2045) and FFYs 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). GTC staff has prepared the draft Transportation Conformity Statement for the Long Range Transportation Plan for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region 2045 and the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (Conformity Statement).

The Draft Conformity Statement will be available for public review concurrent with the public review for the LRTP 2045 from April 12, 2021 to May 11, 2021.  After finalizing the draft plan based on public comments, GTC will present the final Conformity Statement to the Planning Committee on May 13. If approved, the Planning Committee will recommend that the GTC Board adopt the final Conformity Statement at its June 10, 2021 meeting. 

For more information about this topic, please visit gtcmpo.org/Conformity or contact the GTC Office at [email protected]@org or call 585-232-6240.

Overview

The Conformity Statement demonstrates that the LRTP 2045 and the FFY 2020-2024 TIP meet the federal transportation conformity requirements in 40 CFR Part 93. Ultimately, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration will make a Conformity Determination based upon their review of the Statement.  

Clean Air Act (CAA) section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7506(c)) requires that federally funded or approved highway and transit activities are consistent with (“conform to”) the purpose of the State Implementation Plan (SIP). Conformity to the purpose of the SIP means that transportation activities will not cause or contribute to new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the relevant National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) or any interim milestones [42 U.S.C. 7506(c)(1)]. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) transportation conformity rules establish the criteria and procedures for determining whether LRTPs, TIPs, and federally supported highway and transit projects conform to the SIP [40 CFR Parts 51.390 and 93].  

On February 16, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in South Coast Air Quality Mgmt. District v. EPA (“South Coast II,” 882 F.3d 1138) held that transportation conformity determinations must be made in areas that were either nonattainment or maintenance for the 1997 ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) and attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS when the 1997 ozone NAAQS was revoked. These areas are referred to as “Orphan Areas”. Such conformity determinations are required in Orphan Areas after February 16, 2019. The Rochester, New York Nonattainment Area (Rochester Nonattainment Area) was classified “nonattainment” at the time of the 1997 ozone NAAQS revocation on April 6, 2015 and was also designated attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS on May 21, 2012. Therefore, per the South Coast II decision, this conformity determination is being made for the 1997 ozone NAAQS on the LRTP 2045 and the FFY 2020-2024 TIP.  

This conformity determination is being completed consistent with CAA requirements, existing associated regulations at 40 CFR Parts 51.390 and 93, and the South Coast II decision, according to EPA’s Transportation Conformity Guidance for the South Coast II Court Decision issued on November 29, 2018.  

The requirements in 40 CFR 93.112 include interagency consultation and public consultation. Interagency consultation was conducted with the New York Air Quality Interagency Consultation Group (ICG). Relevant information about the policy Recommendations included in LRTP 2045 were provided to the ICG. Interagency consultation was conducted consistent with the requirements at 40 CFR 93.105.

Do you have any comments about the Draft Transportation Conformity Statement for the Long Range Transportation Plan for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region 2045 and the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program?