Air Quality Conformity

Transportation planning in the region is heavily influenced by air quality planning, which like financial constraint, is a federal requirement. Once the Financially Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan (CLRP) is drafted, it is tested to ensure that the projects in the plan, when considered collectively, contribute to the air quality improvement goals embodied in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. A series of tests are performed with computer models that predict how much air pollution will be generated over the next 25 years by facilities in the plan, and how much the air will be improved by cleaner gasoline standards and many other factors.

If the CLRP is found by the TPB to meet regional air quality goals, federal agencies certify that the plan is "in conformity." In other words, the TPB ensures that the CLRP "conforms" to air quality improvement goals. A conformity determination lasts three years - the life of the CLRP itself. If the TPB encounters difficulty in meeting conformity - or expects to - it may choose to adopt Transportation Emission Reduction Measures (TERMs), such as ridesharing and telecommuting programs, improved transit and bicycling facilities, clean fuel vehicle programs or other possible actions. This information is documented in an Air Quality Conformity Determination report

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