[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 35 (Monday, February 23, 2015)]
[Pages 9454-9456]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-03577]



[EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0269; FRL-9923-38-OAR]

Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; 
Transportation Conformity Determinations for Federally Funded and 
Approved Transportation Plans, Programs and Projects

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to 
submit an information collection request (ICR), ``Transportation 
Conformity Determinations for Federally Funded and Approved 
Transportation Plans, Programs, and Projects'' (EPA ICR No. 2130.05, 
OMB Control No. 2060-0561) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public 
comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as 
described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before April 24, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2007-0269 online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method) or by 
mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 
28221T, 1200

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Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.
    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the 
public docket without change including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information 
claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other 
information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Astrid Larsen, Transportation and 
Climate Division, State Measures and Transportation Planning Center, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 
48105; telephone number: 734-214-4812; fax number: 734-214-4052; email 
address: [email protected].

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that 
the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this 
ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in 
person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution 
Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 
202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, 
visit www.epa.gov/dockets.
    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting 
comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the 
proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper 
performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the 
information will have practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of 
the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of 
information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions 
used; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the burden of the 
collection of information on those who are to respond, including 
through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or 
other technological collection techniques or other forms of information 
technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. EPA 
will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. 
The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and 
approval. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice 
to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to 
submit additional comments to OMB.
    Abstract: Transportation conformity is required under Clean Air Act 
section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7506(c)) to ensure that federally supported 
transportation activities are consistent with (``conform to'') the 
purpose of the state air quality implementation plan (SIP). 
Transportation activities include transportation plans, transportation 
improvement programs (TIPs), and federally funded or approved highway 
or transit projects. 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 standards 
(NAAQS or ``standards'') or interim milestones.
    Transportation conformity applies under EPA's conformity 
regulations at 40 CFR part 93, subpart A, to areas that are designated 
nonattainment, and those redesignated to attainment after 1990 
(``maintenance areas'' with plans developed under Clean Air Act section 
175A) for the following transportation-related criteria pollutants: 
ozone, particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), 
carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The EPA 
published the original transportation conformity rule on November 24, 
1993 (58 FR 62188), and subsequently published several revisions. EPA 
develops the conformity regulations in coordination with the Federal 
Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
    Transportation conformity determinations are required before 
federal approval or funding is given to certain types of transportation 
planning documents as well as non-exempt highway and transit 

    \1\ Some projects are exempt from all or certain conformity 
requirements; see 40 CFR 93.126, 93.127, and 93.128.

    EPA considered the following in renewing the existing ICR:
     Burden estimates for transportation conformity 
determinations (including both regional and project-level) in current 
nonattainment and maintenance areas for the ozone, PM2.5, 
PM10, CO, and NO2 NAAQS;
     Federal burden associated with EPA's adequacy review 
process for submitted SIP motor vehicle emissions budgets that are to 
be used in conformity determinations;
     Efficiencies in areas making conformity determinations for 
multiple NAAQS;
     Differences in conformity resource needs in large and 
small metropolitan areas and isolated rural areas;
     Burden estimates for the transition from MOVES2010 to 
     Reduced burden as a result of areas no longer determining 
conformity for the 1997 ozone NAAQS due to revocation \2\ anticipated 
in early 2015; and,

    \2\ See 78 FR 34178 (June 3, 2013).

     Reduced burden as a result of areas completing 20 years of 
maintenance for the PM10 and CO NAAQS, at which time 
transportation conformity is no longer required.
    This ICR does not include burden associated with the general 
development of transportation planning and air quality planning 
documents for meeting other federal requirements.
    Form numbers: None.
    Respondents/affected entities: Entities potentially affected by 
this action are metropolitan planning organizations, local transit 
agencies, state departments of transportation, and state and local air 
quality agencies. Federal agencies potentially affected by this action 
include FHWA, FTA, and EPA.
    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory pursuant to Clean Air 
Act section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7506(c)) and 40 CFR part 51 and 93.
    Estimated number of respondents: EPA estimates that 126 MPOs will 
be subject to conformity requirements during the period covered by this 
ICR and that EPA Regional Offices, the FHWA, and FTA will be involved 
in interagency consultation, and review of transportation-related 
conformity determinations performed by MPOs during this process. EPA 
also estimates that similar consultation will occur for projects in 
isolated rural areas.
    Frequency of response: The information collections described in 
this ICR must be completed before a transportation plan, TIP, or 
project conformity determination is made. The Clean Air Act requires 
conformity to be determined for transportation plans and TIPs every 
four years. Conformity determinations on projects in metropolitan and 
isolated rural areas are required on as as-needed bases.
    Total estimated burden: 63,237 hours (per year). Burden is defined 
at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).
    Total estimated cost: $3,768,668 (per year), includes zero 
annualized capital or operation and maintenance costs.
    Changes in estimates: There is a decrease of 136,200 hours in the 
total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently 
approved by OMB. This decrease is due to less burden associated with 
decreased conformity analysis for PM10, CO and 1997 ozone 
NAAQS, the transition from MOVES2010 to MOVES2014, decreased

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project-level conformity analyses, and decreased EPA adequacy findings.

    Dated: February 12, 2015.
Karl Simon,
Director, Transportation and Climate Division, Office of Transportation 
and Air Quality.
[FR Doc. 2015-03577 Filed 2-20-15; 8:45 am]