AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS
Transportation conformity was established for the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) 2040 and the FY 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) adopted by NIRCC’s Urban Transportation Advisory Board, the MPO policy board for the Fort Wayne Urbanized area. (More Description)
The Air Quality Conformity Determination for the 2040 Transportation Plan was performed to ensure the Plan remains compliant with federal regulations regarding the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), and judicial interpretations of applicable rules, regulations and legislation. Allen County was designated nonattainment for the 1997 ozone NAAQS and was re-designated to attainment for the pollutant ozone in February 2007, and guidance indicated that conformity determinations were no longer required. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision in South Coast Air Quality Management District v. EPA, No. 15-1115, which struck down portions of the 2008 Ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements Rule concerning the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The Court ruling has placed a shadow of uncertainty on the region’s ability to advance transportation projects without demonstrating conformity. The Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council (NIRCC), with guidance from its stakeholders, has decided to perform an Air Quality Conformity Determination for 2040 Transportation Plan to address any potential backsliding of the 2008 ozone requirements and ensure project implementation can proceed on schedule. NIRCC will demonstrate that its transportation plan conforms to the 2020 air quality emission budgets established for the ozone precursor pollutants of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). In addition, the analysis will demonstrate that Allen County, the designated attainment area, in its entirety will conform to the established 2020 State Implementation Plan (SIP) budget.