[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 123 (Monday, June 27, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 41473-41485]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-14854]



[[Page 41473]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 450

Federal Transit Administration

49 CFR Part 613

[Docket No. FHWA-2016-0016; FHWA RIN 2125-AF68; FTA RIN 2132-AB28]


Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area 
Reform

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit 
Administration (FTA); U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FHWA and FTA propose revisions to the transportation 
planning regulations to promote more effective regional planning by 
States and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO). The goal of the 
proposed revisions is to result in unified planning products for each 
urbanized area (UZA), even if there are multiple MPOs designated within 
that urbanized area. Specifically it would result in MPOs developing a 
single metropolitan transportation plan, a single transportation 
improvement program (TIP), and a jointly established set of performance 
targets for the entire urbanized area and contiguous area expected to 
become urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the 
transportation plan. If multiple MPOs are designated within that 
urbanized area, they would jointly prepare these unified planning 
products. To accomplish this, the proposed revisions clarify that the 
metropolitan planning area must include the entire urbanized area and 
contiguous area expected to become urbanized within 20 years.
    These proposed revisions would better align the planning 
regulations with statutory provisions concerning the establishment of 
metropolitan planning area (MPA) boundaries and the designation of 
MPOs. This includes the statutory requirement for the MPA to include an 
urbanized area in its entirety, and the exception provision to allow 
more than one MPO to serve a single MPA if warranted by the size and 
complexity of the MPA. The rulemaking would establish clearer operating 
procedures, and reinstate certain coordination and decisionmaking 
requirements for situations where there is more than one MPO serving an 
MPA. The proposed rule includes a requirement for unified planning 
products for the MPA including jointly established performance targets 
within an MPA, and a single metropolitan transportation plan and TIP 
for the entire MPA in order to result in planning products that reflect 
the regional needs of the entire urbanized area. These unified planning 
products would be jointly developed by the multiple MPOs in such MPAs 
where more than one MPO is designated. The FHWA and FTA propose to 
phase in implementation of these proposed coordination requirements and 
the proposed requirements for MPA boundary and MPO boundaries 
agreements over 2 years.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 26, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Mail or hand deliver comments to: Docket Management 
Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Washington, DC 20590, or submit electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, or fax comments to (202) 493-2251. All comments 
should include the docket number that appears in the heading of this 
document. All comments received will be available for examination and 
copying at the above address from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET, Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays. Those desiring notification of receipt 
of comments must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard or may 
print the acknowledgment page that appears after submitting comments 
electronically. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments in any one of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, or labor union). You may review the DOT 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477).

Electronic Access and Filing

    This document and all comments received may be viewed online 
through the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. 
The Web site is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. An 
electronic copy of this document may also be downloaded by accessing 
the Office of the Federal Register's home page at: https://www.federalregister.gov and the Government Publishing Office's Web site 
at: http://www.gpo.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For FHWA: Mr. Harlan W. Miller, 
Planning Oversight and Stewardship Team (HEPP-10), (202) 366-0847; or 
Ms. Janet Myers, Office of the Chief Counsel (HCC-30), (202) 366-2019. 
For FTA: Ms. Sherry Riklin, Office of Planning and Environment, (202) 
366-5407; Mr. Dwayne Weeks, Office of Planning and Environment, (202) 
493-0316; or Mr. Christopher Hall, Office of Chief Counsel, (202) 366-
5218. Both agencies are located at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., ET for 
FHWA, and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., ET for FTA, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Summary

    This regulation proposes to improve the transportation planning 
process by strengthening the coordination of MPOs and States and 
promoting the use of regional approaches to planning and 
decisionmaking. The proposed rule would emphasize the importance of 
applying a regional perspective during the planning process, to ensure 
that transportation investments reflect the needs and priorities of an 
entire region. Recognizing the critical role MPOs play in providing for 
the well-being of a region, this proposed rule would strengthen the 
voice of MPOs in the transportation planning process.
    This proposed rule would revise the regulatory definition of 
``metropolitan planning area'' (MPA) to better align with the statutory 
requirements in 23 U.S.C. 134 and 49 U.S.C. 5303.\1\ Specifically, the 
proposed rule would amend the definition of MPA in 23 CFR 450.104 to 
include the conditions in 23 U.S.C. 134(e)(2) that require the MPA, at 
a minimum, include the entire urbanized area and the contiguous area 
expected to become urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the 
metropolitan transportation plan. By aligning the regulatory definition 
of the MPA with the statute, the proposed rule would acknowledge that 
the MPA is dynamic. The MPA is the basic geographic unit for 
metropolitan planning; therefore this requirement will ensure that 
planning activities consider the entire region of the urbanized area 
consistently.
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    \1\ For simplicity, the remainder of this NPRM refers only to 
the planning provisions codified in title 23, although similar 
provisions also are codified in chapter 53 of title 49.
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    An exception in 23 U.S.C. 134(d)(7) allows multiple MPOs to be 
designated within a single MPA if the Governor and MPO determine that 
the size and complexity of the area make multiple MPOs appropriate; the 
proposed rule would establish certain requirements applicable in such 
instances where multiple MPOs serve a single MPA. It

[[Page 41474]]

would also establish certain requirements applicable in such instances 
where an MPO's urbanized area spreads into the MPAs of neighboring 
MPOs. First, the proposed rule would clarify that MPA boundaries are 
not necessarily synonymous with MPO boundaries. Second, the proposed 
rule would amend Sec.  450.310(e) of the regulation to clarify that, 
where more than one MPO serves an MPA, the Governor and affected MPOs 
will establish or adjust the boundaries for each MPO within the MPA by 
agreement. Third, the proposed rule would establish additional 
coordination requirements for areas where multiple MPOs are designated 
within the MPA. Under the proposed rule, the Governor and MPOs would 
determine whether the size and complexity of the MPA make the 
designation of multiple MPOs appropriate; if they determine it is not 
appropriate then the MPOs would be required to merge or adjust their 
jurisdiction such that there is only one MPO within the MPA. If they 
determine that designation of multiple MPOs is appropriate, then the 
MPOs may remain separate, with separate boundaries of responsibility 
within the MPA, as established by the affected MPOs and the Governor. 
However, the proposed rule would require those multiple separate MPOs 
to jointly develop unified planning products: A single long range plan 
(referred to as the metropolitan transportation plan), a single TIP, 
and a jointly established set of performance targets for the MPA.
    The requirement for unified planning products also applies to 
urbanized areas that cross State lines. In multistate urbanized areas, 
the Governors and MPOs designated within the MPA must jointly determine 
whether the size and complexity of the MPA warrant designation of more 
than one MPO and must jointly develop unified planning products.
    These requirements for a single planning process and a single 
metropolitan transportation plan to accommodate the intended growth of 
a region will enable individuals within that region to better engage in 
the planning process and facilitate their efforts to ensure that the 
growth trajectory matches their vision and goals. In order to support 
the development of these single documents, the MPOs would be required 
to establish procedures for joint decisionmaking, including a process 
for resolving disagreements.
    Additionally, the proposed rule seeks to strengthen the role that 
MPOs play in the planning process by requiring States and MPOs to agree 
to a process for resolving disagreements and including that process in 
the documentation reviewed by FHWA and FTA when they make a planning 
finding under 23 U.S.C. 135(g)(8). The planning finding is a 
determination on whether the transportation planning process through 
which statewide transportation plans and programs are developed is 
consistent with 23 U.S.C. 134-135.
    These proposed changes to the planning regulations are designed to 
facilitate metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes 
that are more efficient, more comprehensible to stakeholders and the 
public, and more focused on projects that address critical regional 
needs. The proposed rule would help position MPOs to respond to the 
growing trend of urbanization. It would better align the planning 
processes with the regional scale envisioned by the performance-based 
planning framework and particularly those measures focused on 
congestion and system performance. The proposed rule also would help 
MPOs to achieve economies of scale in planning by working together and 
drawing on a larger pool of human, material, financial, and 
technological resources.

                Table of Key Changes Proposed by the NPRM
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                                                         Key regulatory
        Proposed change               Description           sections
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Metropolitan Planning Area      The metropolitan        450.104
 (MPA) boundaries.               planning area shall     (Definitions).
                                 include--at a          450.312
                                 minimum--the entire     (Metropolitan
                                 urbanized area plus     planning area
                                 any contiguous area     boundaries).
                                 expected to become
                                 urbanized within a 20-
                                 year forecast period
                                 for the
                                 transportation plan.
Determination that more than    If after the            450.310 (MPO
 one MPO in an MPA is            publication of this     designation and
 appropriate.                    rule or the release     redesignation).
                                 of the Decennial
                                 Census, there is more
                                 than one MPO
                                 designated within a
                                 single MPA, the
                                 Governor and MPO must
                                 determine whether the
                                 size and complexity
                                 of the MPA make
                                 designation of more
                                 than one MPO
                                 appropriate. If they
                                 determine it is not
                                 appropriate, those
                                 MPOs would be
                                 required to merge.
Coordination for multiple MPOs  Where multiple MPOs     450.104
 within an MPA.                  are designated within   (Definitions).
                                 a metropolitan         450.306 (Scope
                                 planning area, they     of the
                                 shall jointly develop   metropolitan
                                 the metropolitan        transportation
                                 transportation plan,    planning
                                 TIP, and performance    process).
                                 targets for the MPA.   450.324
                                 Additionally, the       (Development
                                 MPOs shall establish    and content of
                                 procedures for joint    the
                                 decisionmaking as       metropolitan
                                 well as a process for   transportation
                                 resolving               plan).
                                 disagreements.         450.326
                                                         (Development
                                                         and content of
                                                         the TIP).
Coordination of planning        States and MPOs shall   450.208
 process activities between      maintain a current      (Coordination
 State and MPO.                  planning agreement,     of planning
                                 including a process     process
                                 for resolving           activities).
                                 disagreements. States
                                 and MPOs shall
                                 coordinate on
                                 information, studies,
                                 or analyses within
                                 the MPA.
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II. Background

MPA and MPO Boundaries

    The metropolitan planning statute defines an MPA as ``the 
geographic area determined by agreement between the metropolitan 
planning organization for the area and the Governor under subsection 
[134](e)'' 23 U.S.C. 134(b)(1). The agreement on the geographic area is 
subject to the minimum requirements contained in 23 U.S.C. 
134(e)(2)(A), which states that each MPA ``shall encompass at least the 
existing urbanized area and the contiguous area expected to become 
urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the transportation 
plan''.
    The MPA and MPO provisions in 23 U.S.C. 134 make it clear that the 
intent for a typical metropolitan planning

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structure is to have a single MPO per urbanized area. However, the 
statute does create an exception in 23 U.S.C. 134(d)(7), which provides 
that more than one MPO may be designated within an existing MPA only if 
the Governor and the existing MPO determine that the size and 
complexity of the existing MPA make designation of more than one MPO 
for the area appropriate. Section 134(d)(7) reinforces the 
interpretation that the norm envisioned by the statute is that 
urbanized areas not be divided into multiple planning areas.
    In 1991, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act was 
enacted with provisions intended to strengthen metropolitan planning. 
In particular, the law gave MPOs responsibility for coordinated 
planning to address the challenges of regional congestion and air 
quality issues. This enhanced planning role for MPOs was defined in the 
1993 planning regulation, which was written to carry out these changes 
to statute. The 1993 planning regulation described a single coordinated 
planning process for the metropolitan planning area (MPA) resulting in 
a single metropolitan transportation plan for the MPA. In several 
locations, the 1993 regulation recognized the possibility of multiple 
MPOs within a single MPA and provided expectations for coordination, 
which included an overall transportation plan for the entire area. (See 
58 FR 58040, October 28, 1993). The 1993 regulation stated in the 
former Sec.  450.310(g) that ``where more than one MPO has authority 
within a metropolitan planning area or a nonattainment or maintenance 
area, there shall be an agreement between the State departments(s) of 
transportation and the MPOs describing how the processes will be 
coordinated to assure the development of an overall transportation plan 
for the metropolitan planning area.'' Further, that regulation stated 
in former Sec.  450.312(e) that where ``more than one MPO has authority 
in a metropolitan planning area . . . the MPOs and the Governor(s) 
shall cooperatively establish the boundaries of the metropolitan 
planning area . . . and the respective jurisdictional responsibilities 
of each MPO.'' In practice, however, many MPOs interpreted the MPA to 
be synonymous with the boundaries of their MPO's jurisdiction, even in 
those areas where multiple MPOs existed within a single urbanized area, 
resulting in multiple ``MPAs'' within a single urbanized area.
    In 2007, the FHWA and FTA updated the regulations to align with 
changes made in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users and its predecessor, the 
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. The revised regulations 
reflected the practice of having multiple ``MPAs'' within a single 
urbanized area, although the statute pertaining to this issue had not 
changed. The 2007 regulation refers to multiple MPOs within an 
urbanized area rather than multiple MPOs within an MPA, and the term 
``MPA'' was used to refer synonymously to the boundaries of an MPO. The 
regulations stated ``if more than one MPO has been designated to serve 
an urbanized area, there shall be a written agreement among the MPOs, 
the State(s), and the public transportation operator(s) describing how 
the metropolitan transportation planning processes will be coordinated 
to assure the development of consistent metropolitan transportation 
plans and TIPs across the MPA boundaries, particularly in cases in 
which a proposed transportation investment extends across the 
boundaries of more than one MPA.'' See 72 FR 7224, February 14, 2007. 
The FHWA and FTA adopted that language as Sec.  450.314(d), and 
redesignated it in a 2016 rulemaking as Sec.  450.314(e).\2\ The 2007 
rule also added Sec.  450.312(h), which explicitly recognizes that, 
over time, an urbanized area may extend across multiple MPAs. The 2007 
rulemaking did not address how to reconcile these regulatory changes 
with the statutory minimum requirement that an MPA include the 
urbanized area in its entirety.
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    \2\ Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning; 
Metropolitan Transportation Planning; Final Rule, 81 FR 34050, May 
27, 2016.
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    As a result, since 2007, the language of the regulation has 
supported the possibility of multiple MPOs within an urbanized area 
rather than within an MPA. The FHWA and FTA have concluded this 2007 
change in the regulatory definition has fostered confusion about the 
statutory requirements and resulted in less efficient planning outcomes 
where multiple TIPs and metropolitan transportation plans are developed 
within a single urbanized area. This proposed rule is designed to 
correct the problems that have occurred under the 2007 rule and return 
to the structure embodied in the rule before the 2007 amendments and 
envisioned in statute. The additional coordination requirements pertain 
to all MPOs designated within the MPA boundaries.
    Illustrations of metropolitan areas are included in the docket to 
aid understanding of the distinction between MPO and MPA boundaries, 
and also the difference between the way MPAs have been designated in 
practice and the minimum area that must be included as a result of this 
proposed rulemaking. These illustrations will help clarify the 
coordination requirements proposed in this rulemaking.

MPO Coordination Within an MPA

    The metropolitan planning statute calls for ``each MPO to prepare 
and update a transportation plan for its metropolitan planning area'' 
and ``develop a TIP for the metropolitan planning area.'' 23 U.S.C. 
134(i)(1)(A) and (j)(1)(A). As discussed above, the metropolitan 
planning statute includes an exception provision in 23 U.S.C. 134(d)(7) 
that allows more than one MPO in an MPA under certain conditions. In 
some instances, multiple MPOs have been designated not only within a 
single MPA, but also within a single urbanized area in an MPA. 
Presently, such MPOs typically create separate metropolitan 
transportation plans and TIPs for separate parts of the urbanized area. 
Currently, the regulations require that where multiple MPOs exist 
within the same urbanized area, their written agreements must describe 
how they will coordinate activities. However, the extent and 
effectiveness of coordination varies, and in some cases effective 
coordination on regional needs and interests can prove challenging. 
Ultimately, the Secretary of Transportation believes, and FHWA and FTA 
concur, that the end result of two or more separate metropolitan 
transportation planning processes, resulting in two or more separate 
plans and TIPs for a single urbanized area is most often both 
inefficient and confusing to the public. For example, members of the 
public may be affected by projects in multiple MPO jurisdictions, 
either because they live in the area of one MPO and work or regularly 
travel to another, or because the MPOs' jurisdictional lines bisect 
their community. They would therefore find it necessary to contribute 
to each MPO's separate planning process in order to have their regional 
concerns adequately considered. Public participation in transportation 
planning is critical to ensuring that the investment decisions meet the 
needs of the affected communities.
    Further, a regional perspective is needed if metropolitan 
transportation planning is to maximize economic opportunities, while 
also addressing the externalities of growth such as congestion, air and 
water quality impacts, and impacts on resilience. The

[[Page 41476]]

Secretary of Transportation believes, and FHWA and FTA concur, that 
joint decisionmaking is necessary in the multiple MPO situations to 
best ensure application of a regional perspective. Accordingly, this 
rulemaking addresses coordination and decisionmaking requirements for 
MPOs that are subject to the 23 U.S.C. 134(d)(7) exception to the one-
MPO-per-MPA structure of the metropolitan planning statute.

Coordination Between States and MPOs

    The statewide planning statute calls for a continuing, cooperative, 
and comprehensive process for developing the statewide plan and the 
statewide transportation improvement program (STIP). 23 U.S.C. 
135(a)(3). The statute requires States to develop the long range 
statewide plan and the STIP in cooperation with MPOs designated under 
23 U.S.C. 134. 23 U.S.C. 135(f)(2)(A) and (g)(2)(A). While these 
statutes require that the State work in cooperation with the MPOs on 
long-range statewide transportation plans and STIPs, the extent to 
which MPO voices are heard varies significantly. The nature of 
decisionmaking authority of MPOs and States varies due to numerous 
factors, including the extent of local funding for transportation 
projects. The Secretary of Transportation believes that the voices of 
MPOs will be strengthened by having a single coordinated metropolitan 
transportation plan and TIP for each MPA, which should create a united 
position on transportation needs and priorities within that urbanized 
area. Ultimately, each relationship between State and MPO is unique, 
and there may not be a single coordination process that is appropriate 
for all areas of the country. However, it is the opinion of the 
Secretary of Transportation that there must be adequate cooperation 
between States and MPOs. The FHWA and FTA concur in those views, and 
therefore this proposed rule would require that States and MPOs 
demonstrate evidence of cooperation, including the existence of an 
agreed upon dispute resolution process.
    The purpose of the Planning program is to use public funds 
effectively and FHWA and FTA welcome ideas to improve our planning 
processes. As such, FHWA and FTA seek comment on how DOT can 
incorporate processes to further ensure that Federal funds are used 
efficiency by States and MPOs. How can the Statewide and Non 
metropolitan and Metropolitan Transportation Planning process provide 
stronger incentives to States and MPOs to manage transportation funding 
more effectively?

III. Section-by-Section Discussion

Section 450.104--Definitions

    The proposed rule would revise the definition of ``metropolitan 
planning area'' in Sec.  450.104 to add language to align the 
definition with the basic statutory requirements for MPA boundaries. 
The purpose of the revision is to help reduce confusion about MPA 
requirements. The current definition describes the MPA as the 
geographic area determined by agreement between the MPO(s) for the area 
and the Governor. That definition does not include any reference to the 
minimum requirement in 23 U.S.C. 134(e)(2)(A) that the MPA must include 
the entire urbanized area and the contiguous area expected to become 
urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the transportation plan. 
The revised definition would add a description of the minimum 
requirement from the statute, and describe the 23 U.S.C. 134(e)(2)(B) 
option to include more than the minimum geographic area. The FHWA and 
FTA specifically ask for comments on whether the rule ought to 
expressly address how States and MPOs should determine MPA boundaries 
where two or more MPAs are contiguous or can be expected to be 
contiguous in the near future. For example, should the rule provide 
that such MPAs must merge? Alternatively, should the rule allow the 
States and MPOs to tailor the MPA boundaries and the 20-year 
urbanization forecast to take the proximity of other MPAs into account?
    The term ``Metropolitan Transportation Plan'' is revised by 
changing the location and number of MPO references in the definition, 
and by adding a reference to the MPA. Similar changes are proposed for 
the definition of ``Transportation Improvement Program'' to make it 
clear the definition encompasses situations where multiple MPOs in an 
MPA work together to develop a unified TIP. The inclusion of new 
references to the MPA in the definitions clarifies that the 
Metropolitan Transportation Plan and the TIP are developed through the 
metropolitan transportation planning process for the entire MPA.

Section 450.208--Coordination of Planning Process Activities

    The proposed rule would strengthen and clarify expectations for 
State-MPO coordination, and would require metropolitan planning 
agreements to include coordination strategies and dispute resolution 
procedures. Section 450.208(a)(1) previously encouraged States to rely 
on MPO data and analysis for areas within the MPA; the rule would now 
require coordination between States and MPOs. This change is proposed 
to ensure States and MPOs employ consistent data, assumptions and other 
analytical materials when doing transportation planning; this does not 
affect roles and responsibilities for project prioritization. The 
section would be further amended by adding language to require the 
State and MPO to maintain a current planning agreement that includes a 
process for resolving disagreements. The metropolitan planning 
agreement, and its inclusion of strategies for coordination and the 
resolution of disagreements would be included among the other relevant 
documents considered by FHWA and FTA as part of their periodic 
determination under 23 U.S.C. 135(g)(8) whether the transportation 
planning process through which statewide transportation plans and 
programs are developed is consistent with 23 U.S.C. 134-135.

Section 450.218--Development and Content of the Statewide 
Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

    The proposed rule would change the reference to ``MPO'' to 
``MPO(s)'' in two places. This is to more clearly recognize the 
possibility that multiple MPOs may be involved with the development of 
a single metropolitan TIP.

Section 450.226--Phase-In of New Requirements

    The proposed rule would provide a phase-in provision for the 
proposed requirement in 23 CFR 450.208(a)(1) that metropolitan planning 
agreement must include strategies for coordination and the resolution 
of disagreements. In proposed Sec.  450.226(h), the rule would provide 
a phase-in period of 2 years after the publication date of a final 
rule. The compliance date for all other proposed changes in 23 CFR part 
450, subpart A would be the effective date of the final rule. The FHWA 
and FTA seek comments on the appropriateness of the proposed 2-year 
phase-in period.

Section 450.300--Purpose

    The proposed rule would add a reference to MPA in the first 
sentence in Sec.  450.300(a). The addition makes it clear that an MPO 
carries out the planning process for its MPA. This change will enhance 
the consistency in the rule, maintaining the statutory focus on the MPO 
as carrying out planning for its MPA, of which one or more entire 
urbanized areas are a part.

[[Page 41477]]

Section 450.306--Scope of the Metropolitan Transportation Planning 
Process

    The proposed rule would add a new paragraph to Sec.  450.306(d). 
Where there are multiple MPOs for an MPA, the new provision would 
require the MPOs to jointly establish the MPA's performance targets 
under 23 CFR part 490 (where applicable), 49 U.S.C. 5326(c) and 49 
U.S.C. 5329(d). This requirement for a joint target-setting process 
would be consistent with the requirements established in the proposed 
rule for a joint metropolitan plan and TIP for the MPA shared by the 
MPOs. The FHWA and FTA request comments on the proposed language, and 
request ideas for alternatives that might better accomplish the goals 
embodied in the proposal. Those goals are to ensure performance targets 
appropriately reflect the needs and priorities of the MPA as a whole, 
and to avoid a situation where the MPOs within a single MPA select 
inconsistent or conflicting performance targets.
    In paragraph (i), the proposed rule would change the reference from 
``MPO'' to ``MPO(s)'' in the last sentence of the paragraph. This is to 
more clearly recognize the possibility that multiple MPOs may be 
involved with the development of an abbreviated plan or TIP using 
simplified procedures.

Section 450.310--Metropolitan Planning Organization Designation and 
Redesignation

    As provided in statute, some MPAs will necessarily be so large and 
complex that multiple MPOs are needed within the MPA. The proposed rule 
reflects the view, based on an interpretation of the planning statutes 
and on FHWA and FTA experiences, that when there are multiple MPOs 
within the same MPA, enhanced coordination and joint decisionmaking 
procedures are needed to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive 
planning process within the MPA. The proposed rule would revise Sec.  
450.310(e) by clarifying that more than one MPO can be designated for 
an MPA only when the Governor and MPO(s) determine it is warranted, in 
accordance with Sec.  450.310(e). This change would reinforce the 
statutory principle that ordinarily only one MPO shall be designated 
for an MPA. The proposed rule retains the statutory standard permitting 
the designation of multiple MPOs within an MPA only if the Governor and 
existing MPO determine that the MPA's size and complexity necessitate 
multiple MPOs. Several references in the existing rule to ``urbanized 
areas'' would be replaced with ``MPA'' to better align with the 
statutory language.
    The proposed rule would articulate in Sec.  450.310(e) the limited 
exemption to the requirement of one MPO per MPA and the requirements 
applicable when multiple MPOs are designated within the same MPA. The 
case could arise that multiple MPOs that were previously designated 
will come to be located within the same MPA, either because this rule, 
once effective, will require some Governors and MPOs to reevaluate the 
bounds of MPAs, or due to the future merger of urbanized areas 
following a Decennial Census. In those situations, paragraph (e) 
provides that the Governor and MPOs would have to determine whether the 
size and complexity of the MPA warrant the designation of multiple 
MPOs.
    The statute envisions a single MPO per MPA, with the exception that 
more than one MPO may be designated only if the Governor and existing 
MPO determine that the size and complexity of the metropolitan planning 
area make the designation of multiple MPOs appropriate. However, 
because of the past practice of many MPOs and Governors treating the 
term MPA as essentially synonymous with the territory of any particular 
MPO, many MPOs are not in compliance with the statute. This rule would 
require some MPOs and Governors to conceptualize for the first time the 
bounds of the MPAs as geographically distinct from the jurisdictional 
boundaries of the MPOs. Accordingly, for any MPOs that newly share an 
MPA with one or more other MPOs as a result of this rulemaking 
enforcing the statutory definition of MPA, the affected MPOs and 
Governor must make a determination that the MPA is of a size and 
complexity that makes multiple MPOs appropriate, or must merge the MPOs 
in MPAs where the Governor and MPOs determine that the size and 
complexity do not make multiple MPOs appropriate.
    If the Governor and MPOs determine that multiple MPOs are not 
warranted based on the size and complexity of the MPA, those MPOs would 
have to merge and follow the redesignation procedures in Sec.  
450.310(h). Where it is determined that multiple MPOs are warranted, 
coordination still would be required among the MPOs in the affected MPA 
under the rule, with revisions to emphasize that the MPOs would jointly 
develop a unified plan, TIP, and performance targets for the entire 
MPA. The MPOs still would be required to establish official, written 
agreements that clearly identify areas of coordination, the division of 
transportation planning responsibilities among and between the MPOs, 
and procedures for joint decisionmaking and the resolution of 
disagreements--all for and within the affected MPA. Together with the 
Governor, those MPOs would jointly establish the MPO boundaries within 
the MPA.
    The proposed rule would change a reference to ``entire MPA'' in 
paragraph (m), concerning coordination in multistate metropolitan 
areas, to ``entire metropolitan area.'' The FHWA and FTA believe 
``metropolitan area'' is consistent with ``multistate metropolitan 
area'' and more clearly conveys the intent of the paragraph.

Section 450.312--Metropolitan Planning Area Boundaries

    The proposed rule would reorganize, and make technical edits to, 
existing Sec.  450.312. The proposed rule would add or clarify 
requirements through revisions in paragraphs (c), (f), (h), and (i).
    The proposed rule would reorganize Sec.  450.312(a) by switching 
the order of the first two sentences. The proposed rule would move 
certain references to ``MPA'' and add language in proposed Sec.  
450.312(a)(1) to clarify and emphasize that an agreement between the 
Governor and an MPO concerning the boundaries of an MPA is subject to 
the minimum requirement that the MPA contain the entire existing 
urbanized area plus the contiguous area expected to become urbanized 
within a 20-year forecast period for the transportation plan. The 
proposed rule also adds a new Sec.  450.312(a)(2) to clarify that when 
MPOs are contiguous to the same non-urbanized area that is expected to 
become urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the 
transportation plan, they must agree on their mutual MPA boundaries so 
that their boundaries do not overlap.
    Section 450.312(b) would be reorganized. Section 450.312(b) and (c) 
would be edited for consistency with the requirement that an MPA 
contain an urbanized area in its entirety.
    Section 450.312(f) would be revised to more closely align with the 
language of 23 U.S.C. 134(f). That provision calls for the Secretary to 
encourage the Governors and MPOs in a multistate metropolitan area to 
coordinate transportation planning across the entire metropolitan area. 
The FHWA and FTA concluded the statute's use of the term ``metropolitan 
area,'' rather than the statutorily-defined term ``MPA,'' reflects an 
intention to promote coordinated planning across a broader area than a 
single MPA. This interpretation takes into consideration the plain 
language

[[Page 41478]]

meaning of ``metropolitan area.'' as well as the historical use of the 
term by the Federal Government.\3\ The type of coordination called for 
in 23 U.S.C. 134(f), as reflected in the proposed revisions to Sec.  
450.312(f), reaches beyond MPAs to include not only the core urban 
areas but also outlying areas that are economically and socially 
integrated with the urban areas. The proposed rule also would add 
language describing the compact authority contained in 23 U.S.C. 
134(f).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ See, e.g., the U.S. Census Bureau discussions in 
``Metropolitan Areas'' available online at https://www.census.gov/history/www/programs/geography/metropolitan_areas.html (as of March 
2016) and ``Metropolitan Areas Standards Review Project (MASRP)'' 
available online at http://www.census.gov/population/metro/data/masrp.html (as of march 2016); see also Office of management and 
Budget discussion in its Notice of Standards for Defining 
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (65 FR 82228, at 
82228-82229 (December 27, 2000).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 450.312(h) would be entirely rewritten for consistency with 
the proposed rule's emphasis on the statutory requirement that all of 
an urbanized area be contained in the same MPA. As proposed, Sec.  
450.312(h) would describe the organizational options available to 
Governors and MPOs where more than one MPO is designated in an MPA, as 
authorized by the exception in 23 U.S.C. 134(d)(7). Proposed Sec.  
450.312(h)(1) through (3) would describe minimum requirements 
applicable where the multiple MPOs exist in a single MPA. The three 
requirements would be (1) a written agreement among the MPOs to 
identify how planning decisions will be made and carried out, (2) use 
of joint decisionmaking to develop a single metropolitan transportation 
plan and TIP for the entire MPA, and (3) establishment of the 
boundaries for each MPO within the MPA by agreement of the Governor and 
the affected MPOs.
    The proposed rule would revise Sec.  450.312(i), which addresses 
reviews of MPA boundaries after each Census. The changes would include 
clarifying that the minimum requirements for MPAs apply in this 
situation. Following a Decennial Census, the MPO(s) are required to 
review the MPA boundaries to ensure compliance with the minimum 
statutory requirements. This includes changes in urbanized areas that 
result in the merging of previously separate urbanized areas, or 
expansion of urbanized areas into a neighboring MPA. Under the proposed 
rule, if a Census results in two previously separate urbanized areas 
being defined as a single urbanized area, the Governor and MPO(s) would 
have to redetermine the affected MPAs as a single MPA that includes the 
entire new urbanized area plus the contiguous area expected to become 
urbanized within a 20-year forecast period of the transportation plan. 
The MPOs may remain separate only if the Governor and MPOs determine 
that the size and complexity of the MPA make it appropriate to have 
multiple MPOs designated for the area, as described in 23 U.S.C. 
134(d)(7). This paragraph also clarifies the responsibilities when two 
or more MPOs may be adjacent to the same non-urbanized area that is 
expected to become urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the 
transportation plan, or when an urbanized area expands into a 
neighboring MPA. In these situations, the Governor and MPOs are 
encouraged to merge adjacent MPAs when urbanized areas are contiguous 
or when the urbanized areas are expected to become contiguous within a 
20-year forecast period for the transportation plan, but they must at a 
minimum agree on their mutual MPA boundaries. This paragraph also 
establishes a timeline for compliance following a Decennial Census that 
results in the merger of two or more previously separate MPAs.
    The proposed rule would add a new paragraph--Sec.  450.312(j)--
which would enumerate the situations in which a Governor and MPOs are 
encouraged to merge multiple MPAs into a single MPA, including when 
multiple urbanized areas are directly adjacent to each other, when they 
are expected to grow to become adjacent within 20 years, or when they 
are adjacent to the same non-urbanized area that is expected to become 
urbanized within 20 years.
    The proposed rule would change a reference in the renumbered Sec.  
450.312(k) from ``MPO'' to ``MPO(s)'' for consistency with other 
proposed changes.

Section 450.314--Metropolitan Planning Agreements

    The proposed rule would change several references in Sec.  450.314 
from ``MPO'' to ``MPO(s)'' for consistency with other proposed changes 
in the rule.
    The proposed rule would make several changes to Sec.  450.314(e). 
The rule would change ``an urbanized area'' in the first sentence to 
``an MPA,'' to better reflect the statutory relationship between MPOs, 
MPAs, and urbanized areas. The sentence would also be changed to 
require development of a single metropolitan transportation plan and 
TIP for an MPA. Where a proposed transportation investment extends 
across the boundaries of more than one MPA, the proposed rule would 
require MPOs to coordinate to assure the development of consistent 
metropolitan transportation plans and TIPs. This would replace language 
in the existing rule that calls for consistent plans and TIPs across 
the MPA. The proposed rule would require, rather than encourage, the 
use of coordinated data collection, analysis, and planning assumptions 
across the MPA. The proposed rule would strongly encourage the use of 
such practices across neighboring MPOs that are not within the same 
MPA. The FHWA and FTA seek comments on what, if any, exemptions ought 
to be contained in the rule from these requirements, and what criteria 
might be used for such an exemption.
    The proposed rule would eliminate the phrase ``urbanized area'' 
from Sec.  450.314(f), concerning multistate MPAs, and change existing 
references from ``multistate area'' to ``multistate MPA.'' These 
changes will make the provision more consistent with the planning 
statute and other proposed changes in the rule.
    Under the proposed rule, Sec.  450.314(g) would be revised for 
consistency with the statutory requirement that all of an urbanized are 
be included within the same MPA. The proposed rule would clarify that 
the rule's existing requirement for a written agreement on roles and 
responsibilities for meeting transportation management area (TMA) 
requirements applies where more than one MPO serve the MPA containing 
the TMA.
    Similar changes would be made in Sec.  450.314(h), to clarify that 
the cooperative development and sharing of information related to 
performance management applies when an MPA includes an urbanized area 
that has been designated as a TMA as well as an urbanized area that is 
not a TMA.

Section 450.316--Interested Parties, Participation, and Consultation

    The proposed rule would revise Sec.  450.316(b), (c), and (d) by 
changing references from ``MPO'' to ``MPO(s).'' These changes would 
make the references consistent with other changes proposed in this 
rule.

Section 450.324--Development and Content of the Metropolitan 
Transportation Plan

    References to ``MPO'' in several parts of Sec.  450.324 would be 
changed to ``MPO(s)'' for consistency with other proposed changes to 
the rule. The proposed rule would redesignate the current Sec.  
450.3249(c) through (m) as Sec.  450.324(d) through (n), respectively, 
and add a new paragraph (c). The new provision would require that, if 
more

[[Page 41479]]

than one MPO has been designated to serve an MPA, those MPOs within the 
MPA shall (1) jointly develop a single metropolitan transportation plan 
for the MPA; (2) jointly establish, for the MPA, the performance 
targets that address the performance measures described in 23 CFR part 
490 (where applicable), 49 U.S.C. 5326(c) and 49 U.S.C. 5329(d); and 
(3) agree to a process for making a single conformity determination on 
the joint plan (in nonattainment or maintenance areas). The FHWA and 
FTA seek comments on what, if any, exemptions ought to be contained in 
the rule from these requirements, and what criteria might be used for 
such an exemption. The FHWA and FTA also request comments on the 
question whether additional changes are needed in FHWA and FTA 
regulations on performance measures and target setting (e.g., 23 CFR 
part 490) to cross-reference this new planning provision on target-
setting.

Section 450.326--Development and Content of the Transportation 
Improvement Program

    The proposed rule would add a sentence to Sec.  450.326(a) to 
require that in MPAs with multiple MPOs the MPOs must jointly develop a 
single TIP for the MPA. The rule would require such MPOs, if in 
nonattainment or maintenance areas, to agree on a process for making a 
single conformity determination on the joint TIP. The FHWA and FTA seek 
comments on what, if any, exemptions ought to be contained in the rule 
from these requirements, and what criteria might be used for such an 
exemption.
    The proposed rule would change ``MPO'' to ``MPO(s)'' in paragraphs 
(a), (b), (j), and (p). Those changes would be made for better 
consistency with other changes proposed in the rulemaking.

Section 450.328--TIP Revisions and Relationship to the STIP

    The proposed rule would change ``MPO'' to ``MPO(s)'' in Sec.  
450.328(a), (b), and (c). The changes would be made for better 
consistency with other changes proposed in the rule.

Section 450.330--TIP Action by the FHWA and the FTA

    The proposed rule would change ``MPO'' to ``MPO(s)'' in Sec.  
450.330(a) and (c). Section 450.330(c) would be clarified by changing 
the first part of the first sentence from ``[i]f an MPO has not . . 
.'', to ``[i]f an MPO or MPOs have not . . .'' All these changes are 
for better consistency with proposed revisions in other parts of the 
rule concerning how planning requirements apply where there are 
multiple MPOs in an MPA provisions, as authorized by the exception 
provision in 23 U.S.C. 134(d)(7).

Section 450.332--Project Selection From the TIP

    The proposed rule would change ``MPO'' to ``MPO(s)'' in Sec.  
450.332(b) and (c), for better consistency with other changes proposed 
in the rule.

Section 450.334--Annual Listing of Obligated Projects

    The proposed rule would change ``MPO'' to ``MPO(s)'' in Sec.  
450.334(a), for better consistency with other changes proposed in the 
rulemaking.

Section 450.336--Self-Certifications and Federal Certifications

    The proposed rule would change ``MPO'' to ``MPO(s)'' in several 
places in Sec.  450.336(b), for better consistency with other changes 
proposed in the rule.

Section 450.340--Phase-In of New Requirements

    The proposed rule would add phase-in implementing provisions to 
Sec.  450.340 for certain parts of the proposed rule. The compliance 
date for all other proposed changes would be the effective date of the 
final rule.
    In a new paragraph (h), FHWA and FTA propose giving States and MPOs 
2 years before they would have to be fully compliant with the MPA 
boundary and MPO boundaries agreement provisions in Sec. Sec.  450.310 
and 450.312, and with the requirements for jointly established 
performance targets and a single metropolitan transportation plan and 
TIP for the entire MPA. The proposed rule would require the Governor 
and MPOs to document their determination of whether the size and 
complexity of the MPA justify the designation of multiple MPOs, 
however, the decision would not be subject to approval by FHWA and FTA. 
Full compliance for all MPOs within the MPA would be required before 
the earliest next regularly scheduled update of a metropolitan 
transportation plan for any MPO within the MPA, following the second 
anniversary of the effective date of a final rule, if adopted. The FHWA 
and FTA seek comment on the appropriateness of the proposed 2-year 
phase-in period.

IV. Regulatory Analyses and Notices

    All comments received before the close of business on the comment 
closing date indicated above will be considered and available for 
examination in the docket at the above address. Comments received after 
the comment closing date will be filed in the docket and considered to 
the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FHWA and FTA will 
also continue to file relevant information in the docket as it becomes 
available after the comment period closing date, and interested persons 
should continue to examine the docket for new material. A final rule 
may be published at any time after close of the comment period and 
after FHWA and FTA have had the opportunity to review the comments 
submitted.

A. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive 
Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    The FHWA and FTA have determined that this proposed rule is a 
significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 
12866 and within the meaning of DOT regulatory policies and procedures. 
This proposed regulation seeks to improve the clarity of the planning 
rules by addressing ambiguity in MPO boundaries and responsibilities 
and better aligning the regulations with the statute. Additionally, the 
MPOs shall establish procedures for joint decisionmaking as well as a 
process for resolving disagreements. These changes are also intended to 
result in better outcomes for the MPOs, State agencies, providers of 
public transportation and the public, by restoring a regional focus for 
metropolitan planning, and by unifying MPO processes within an 
urbanized area in order to improve the ability of the public to 
understand and participate in the transportation planning process. The 
joint planning requirements of this rule affect primarily urbanized 
areas with multiple MPOs planning for the same area, or 142 of the 409 
MPOs in the country. The affected MPOs are: (1) MPOs that have been 
designated for an urbanized area for which other MPOs also have been 
designated and/or (2) MPOs where an adjacent urbanized area has spread 
into its MPA boundary. The MPOs designated as an MPO in multiple MPAs, 
in which one or more other MPOs are also designated, would be required 
to participate in the planning processes for each MPA. Thus, under this 
rule, MPOs that have jurisdiction in more than one MPA would be 
required to participate in multiple separate planning processes. 
However, the affected MPOs could exercise several options to reduce or 
eliminate these impacts, including adjustment of MPA boundaries to 
eliminate overlap and by merging MPOs. The FHWA and FTA are seeking 
comments on what other

[[Page 41480]]

options affected MPOs could exercise to reduce the overlap while 
meeting the statutory and regulatory requirements. The FHWA and FTA 
expect that such responses will reduce the number of MPOs ultimately 
affected by these coordination requirements.
    All MPOs will be required to review their agreements with State 
DOTs and providers of public transportation to ensure that there are 
written procedures for joint decisionmaking and dispute resolution. The 
FHWA and FTA expect that the MPOs, State DOTs and providers of public 
transportation will undertake this review and update as they identify 
how they will implement a performance based planning and programming 
process required by MAP-21 and revised Statewide and Nonmetropolitan 
Transportation and Metropolitan Transportation Final Rule (FHWA RIN: 
2125-AF52; FTA RIN: 2132-AB10). Because FHWA and FTA anticipate that 
the reviews would occur due to other existing requirements and in the 
absence of the proposed rule, the incremental impact, to the extent 
that there is any, should be quite small.
    In some cases, a Governor (or Governors in the case of multistate 
urbanized areas) and MPOs could determine that the size and complexity 
of the area make multiple MPOs appropriate. The proposed rule would 
require those multiple separate MPOs to jointly develop unified 
planning products: A single metropolitan transportation plan, a single 
TIP, and a jointly established set of performance targets for the MPA. 
This should not create a large burden, and will in some cases reduce 
overall planning costs. Because MPOs within the same urban area will 
produce single planning documents, there will be less overlapping and 
duplicative work. Thus, the rule will enhance efficiency in planning 
processes for some areas, and generate cost-savings due to creating 
single rather than multiple documents as well as through pooling of 
resources and sharing data, models, and other tools. However, the MPOs 
that are not accustomed to coordinating across boundaries will have to 
establish relationships and protocols, and reconcile procedures. 
Coordination could create some initial costs, but those will diminish 
over time. There is also expected to be some offsetting costs for State 
DOTs and MPOs due to the necessity of updating metropolitan planning 
agreements to include dispute resolution processes. These costs are 
expected to be primarily experienced in the initial year, as processes 
are developed.
    To the extent that there are any costs, 80 percent are directly 
reimbursable through Federal transportation funds allocated for 
metropolitan planning (23 U.S.C. 104(f) and 49 U.S.C. 5303(h)) and for 
State planning and research (23 U.S.C. 505 and 49 U.S.C. 5313). Thus, 
the costs to the affected MPOs should be minimal.
    The FHWA and FTA also expect there will be some cost savings for 
State DOTs, which will benefit from having fewer TIPs to incorporate 
into their STIPs. There will also be benefits to the public if the 
coordination requirements result in a planning process in which public 
participation opportunities are transparent and unified for the entire 
region, and if members of the public have an easier ability to engage 
in the planning process.
    The FHWA and FTA seek comments and available data on the costs and 
benefits of the proposals of this rulemaking.
    In addition, this action complies with the principles of Executive 
Order 13563. After evaluating the costs and benefits of these proposed 
amendments, the FHWA and FTA anticipate that the net economic impact of 
this rulemaking would be minimal. These changes are not anticipated to 
adversely affect, in any material way, any sector of the economy. In 
addition, these changes will not create a serious inconsistency with 
any other agency's action or materially alter the budgetary impact of 
any entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 
5 U.S.C. 601-612), FHWA and FTA have evaluated the effects of this 
action on small entities and have determined that the action would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The proposed amendment addresses the obligation of Federal 
funds to State DOTs for Federal-aid highway projects. The proposed rule 
affects two types of entities: State governments and MPOs. State 
governments do not meet the definition of a small entity under 5 U.S.C. 
601, which have a population of less than 50,000.
    The MPOs are considered governmental jurisdictions, and to qualify 
as a small entity they would need to serve less than 50,000 people. The 
MPOs serve urbanized areas with populations of 50,000 or more. 
Therefore, the MPOs that might incur economic impacts under this 
proposed rule do not meet the definition of a small entity.
    I hereby certify that this regulatory action would not have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The FHWA and FTA have determined that this NPRM does not impose 
unfunded mandates as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 
1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, March 22, 1995, 109 Stat. 48). This proposed rule 
does not include a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of 
$155.1 million or more in any one year (when adjusted for inflation) in 
2012 dollars for either State, local, and tribal governments in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector. The FHWA and FTA will publish a 
final analysis, including its response to public comments, when it 
publishes a final rule. Additionally, the definition of ``Federal 
mandate'' in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act excludes financial 
assistance of the type in which State, local, or tribal governments 
have authority to adjust their participation in the program in 
accordance with changes made in the program by the Federal Government. 
The Federal-aid highway program and Federal Transit Act permits this 
type of flexibility.

D. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism Assessment)

    The FHWA and FTA have analyzed this NPRM in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. The FHWA 
and FTA have determined that this action does not have sufficient 
federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism 
assessment. The FHWA and FTA have also determined that this action does 
not preempt any State law or State regulation or affect the States' 
ability to discharge traditional State governmental functions.

E. Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply 
to this program. Local entities should refer to the Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and 
Construction, for further information.

F. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501, et 
seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they 
conduct, sponsor, or

[[Page 41481]]

require through regulations. The DOT has analyzed this proposed rule 
under the PRA and has determined that this proposal does not contain 
collection of information requirements for the purposes of the PRA.

G. National Environmental Policy Act

    Federal agencies are required to adopt implementing procedures for 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that establish specific 
criteria for, and identification of, three classes of actions: (1) 
Those that normally require preparation of an Environmental Impact 
Statement, (2) those that normally require preparation of an 
Environmental Assessment, and (3) those that are categorically excluded 
from further NEPA review (40 CFR 1507.3(b)). This action qualifies for 
categorical exclusions under 23 CFR 771.117(c)(20) (promulgation of 
rules, regulations, and directives) and 771.117(c)(1) (activities that 
do not lead directly to construction) for FHWA, and 23 CFR 
771.118(c)(4) (planning and administrative activities which do not 
involve or lead directly to construction) for FTA. The FHWA and FTA 
have evaluated whether the action would involve unusual or 
extraordinary circumstances and have determined that this action would 
not.

H. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    The FHWA and FTA have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive 
Order (E.O.) 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights. The FHWA and FTA do not 
anticipate that this proposed action would affect a taking of private 
property or otherwise have taking implications under E.O. 12630.

I. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of E.O. 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate 
ambiguity, and reduce burden.

J. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under E.O. 13045, Protection of 
Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. The FHWA and 
FTA certify that this action would not cause an environmental risk to 
health or safety that might disproportionately affect children.

K. Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    The FHWA and FTA have analyzed this action under E.O. 13175, dated 
November 6, 2000, and believes that the proposed action would not have 
substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes; would not 
impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal 
governments; and would not preempt tribal laws. The proposed rulemaking 
addresses obligations of Federal funds to State DOTs for Federal-aid 
highway projects and would not impose any direct compliance 
requirements on Indian tribal governments. Therefore, a tribal summary 
impact statement is not required.

L. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    The FHWA and FTA have analyzed this action under E.O. 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. The FHWA and FTA have determined that this is not 
a significant energy action under that order and is not likely to have 
a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of 
energy. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

M. Executive Order 12898 (Environmental Justice)

    The E.O. 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in 
Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations) and DOT Order 
5610.2(a) (77 FR 27534, May 10, 2012) (available online at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_justice/ej_at_dot/order_56102a/index.cfm) require DOT agencies to achieve Environmental 
Justice (EJ) as part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as 
appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects, including interrelated social and economic 
effects, of their programs, policies, and activities on minority and 
low-income populations. The DOT agencies must address compliance with 
E.O. 12898 and the DOT Order in all rulemaking activities.
    The FHWA and FTA have issued additional documents relating to 
administration of E.O. 12898 and the DOT Order. On June 14, 2012, FHWA 
issued an update to its EJ order, FHWA Order 6640.23A (FHWA Actions to 
Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income 
Populations (available online at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/orders/664023a.htm)). On August 15, 2012, FTA's Circular 
4703.1 became effective, which contains guidance for States and MPOs to 
incorporate EJ into their planning processes (available online at 
http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/FTA_EJ_Circular_7.14-12_FINAL.pdf).
    The FHWA and FTA have evaluated the final rule under the Executive 
order, the DOT Order, the FHWA Order, and the FTA Circular. The EJ 
principles, in the context of planning, should be considered when the 
planning process is being implemented at the State and local level. As 
part of their stewardship and oversight of the federally aided 
transportation planning process of the States, MPOs and operators of 
public transportation, FHWA and FTA encourage these entities to 
incorporate EJ principles into the statewide and metropolitan planning 
processes and documents, as appropriate and consistent with the 
applicable orders and the FTA Circular. When FHWA and FTA make a future 
funding or other approval decision on a project basis, they consider 
EJ.
    Nothing inherent in the proposed rule would disproportionately 
impact minority or low-income populations. The proposed rule 
establishes procedures and other requirements to guide future State and 
local decisionmaking on programs and projects. Neither the proposed 
rule nor 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135 dictate the outcome of those decisions. 
The FHWA and FTA have determined that the proposed rule would not cause 
disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental 
effects on minority or low-income populations.

N. Regulation Identifier Number

    A Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory 
action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The 
Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in 
April and October of each year. The RIN number contained in the heading 
of this document can be used to cross-reference this action with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects

23 CFR Part 450

    Grant programs--transportation, Highway and roads, Mass 
transportation, Reporting and record keeping requirements.

49 CFR Part 613

    Grant programs--transportation, Highways and roads, Mass 
transportation.


[[Page 41482]]


    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 17, 2016, under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.85.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
Carolyn Flowers,
Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration.
    In consideration of the foregoing, FHWA and FTA propose to amend 
title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, part 450, and title 49, Code of 
Federal Regulations, part 613, as set forth below:

Title 23--Highways

PART 450--PLANNING ASSISTANCE AND STANDARDS

0
1. The authority citation for part 450 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135; 42 U.S.C. 7410 et seq.; 49 
U.S.C. 5303 and 5304; 49 CFR 1.85 and 1.90.

0
2. Amend Sec.  450.104 by revising the definitions for ``Metropolitan 
planning agreement'', ``Metropolitan planning area (MPA)'', 
``Metropolitan transportation plan'', and ``Transportation improvement 
program (TIP)'' to read as follows:


Sec.  450.104  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Metropolitan planning agreement means a written agreement between 
the MPO(s), the State(s), and the providers of public transportation 
serving the metropolitan planning area that describes how they will 
work cooperatively to meet their mutual responsibilities in carrying 
out the metropolitan transportation planning process.
    Metropolitan planning area (MPA) means the geographic area 
determined by agreement between the MPO(s) for the area and the 
Governor, which must at a minimum include the entire urbanized area and 
the contiguous area expected to become urbanized within a 20-year 
forecast period for the transportation plan, and may include additional 
areas.
* * * * *
    Metropolitan transportation plan means the official multimodal 
transportation plan addressing no less than a 20-year planning horizon, 
that is developed, adopted, and updated by the MPO or MPOs through the 
metropolitan transportation planning process for the MPA.
* * * * *
    Transportation improvement program (TIP) means a prioritized 
listing/program of transportation projects covering a period of 4 years 
that is developed and formally adopted by an MPO or MPOs as part of the 
metropolitan transportation planning process for the MPA, consistent 
with the metropolitan transportation plan, and required for projects to 
be eligible for funding under title 23 U.S.C. and title 49 U.S.C. 
chapter 53.
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  450.208 by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:


Sec.  450.208  Coordination of planning process activities.

    (a) * * *
    (1) Coordinate planning carried out under this subpart with the 
metropolitan transportation planning activities carried out under 
subpart C of this part for metropolitan areas of the State. When 
carrying out transportation planning activities under this part, the 
State and MPOs shall coordinate on information, studies, or analyses 
for portions of the transportation system located in metropolitan 
planning areas. The State(s), the MPO(s) and the operators of public 
transportation must have a current metropolitan planning agreement, 
which will identify coordination strategies that support cooperative 
decisionmaking and the resolution of disagreements;
* * * * *


Sec.  450.218  [Amended]

0
4. Amend Sec.  450.218(b) by removing ``MPO'' and adding in its place 
``MPO(s)'' in both places it appears.
0
5. Amend Sec.  450.226 by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  450.226  Phase-in of new requirements.

* * * * *
    (g) On and after [date 2 years after publication of the final 
rule], the State(s), the MPO(s) and the operators of public 
transportation must have a current metropolitan planning agreement, 
which will identify coordination strategies that support cooperative 
decision-making and the resolution of disagreements.

Subpart C--Metropolitan Transportation Planning and Programming

0
6. Amend Sec.  450.300 by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (a); and
0
b. Removing from paragraph (b) the word ``Encourages'' and adding in 
its place ``Encourage''.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  450.300  Purpose.

* * * * *
    (a) Set forth the national policy that the MPO designated for each 
urbanized area is to carry out a continuing, cooperative, and 
comprehensive performance-based multimodal transportation planning 
process for its MPA, including the development of a metropolitan 
transportation plan and a TIP, that encourages and promotes the safe 
and efficient development, management, and operation of surface 
transportation systems to serve the mobility needs of people and 
freight (including accessible pedestrian walkways and bicycle 
transportation facilities) and foster economic growth and development, 
while minimizing transportation-related fuel consumption and air 
pollution; and
* * * * *
0
7. Amend Sec.  450.306 by adding paragraph (d)(5) and revising 
paragraph (i) as follows:


Sec.  450.306  Scope of the metropolitan transportation planning 
process.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (5) In MPAs in which multiple MPOs have been designated, the MPOs 
shall jointly establish, for the MPA, the performance targets that 
address performance measures or standards established under 23 CFR part 
490 (where applicable), 49 U.S.C. 5326(c) and 49 U.S.C. 5329(d).
* * * * *
    (i) In an urbanized area not designated as a TMA that is an air 
quality attainment area, the MPO(s) may propose and submit to the FHWA 
and the FTA for approval a procedure for developing an abbreviated 
metropolitan transportation plan and TIP. In developing proposed 
simplified planning procedures, consideration shall be given to whether 
the abbreviated metropolitan transportation plan and TIP will achieve 
the purposes of 23 U.S.C. 134, 49 U.S.C. 5303, and these regulations, 
taking into account the complexity of the transportation problems in 
the area. The MPO(s) shall develop simplified procedures in cooperation 
with the State(s) and public transportation operator(s).
0
8. Amend Sec.  450.310 by revising paragraphs (e) and (m) introductory 
text to read as follows:


Sec.  450.310  Metropolitan planning organization designation and 
redesignation.

* * * * *
    (e) Except as provided in this paragraph, only one MPO shall be 
designated for each MPA. More than one MPO may be designated to serve 
an MPA only if the Governor(s) and the existing MPO(s), if applicable, 
determine that the size and complexity of the MPA make designation of 
more than one MPO in the MPA appropriate.

[[Page 41483]]

In those cases where the Governor(s) and existing MPO(s) determine that 
the size and complexity of the MPA do make it appropriate that two or 
more MPOs serve within the same MPA, the Governor and affected MPOs by 
agreement shall jointly establish or adjust the boundaries for each MPO 
within the MPA, and the MPOs shall establish official, written 
agreements that clearly identify areas of coordination, the division of 
transportation planning responsibilities within the MPA among and 
between the MPOs, and procedures for joint decisionmaking and the 
resolution of disagreements. If multiple MPOs were designated in a 
single MPA prior to this rule or in multiple MPAs that merged into a 
single MPA following a Decennial Census by the Bureau of the Census, 
and the Governor(s) and the existing MPOs determine that the size and 
complexity do not make the designation of more than one MPO in the MPA 
appropriate, then those MPOs must merge together in accordance with the 
redesignation procedures in this section.
* * * * *
    (m) Each Governor with responsibility for a portion of a multistate 
metropolitan area and the appropriate MPOs shall, to the extent 
practicable, provide coordinated transportation planning for the entire 
metropolitan area. The consent of Congress is granted to any two or 
more States to:
* * * * *
0
9. Section 450.312 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  450.312  Metropolitan planning area boundaries.

    (a) At a minimum, the boundaries of an MPA shall encompass the 
entire existing urbanized area (as defined by the Bureau of the Census) 
plus the contiguous area expected to become urbanized within a 20-year 
forecast period for the metropolitan transportation plan.
    (1) Subject to this minimum requirement, the boundaries of an MPA 
shall be determined through an agreement between the MPO and the 
Governor.
    (2) If two or more MPAs would otherwise include the same non-
urbanized area that is expected to become urbanized within a 20-year 
forecast period, the Governor and the relevant MPOs are required to 
agree on the final boundaries of the MPA or MPAs such that the 
boundaries of the MPAs do not overlap. In such situations, the Governor 
and MPOs are encouraged, but not required, to combine the MPAs into a 
single MPA. Merger into a single MPA would also require the MPOs to 
merge in accordance with the redesignation procedures described in 
Sec.  450.310(h), unless the Governor and MPO(s) determine that the 
size and complexity of the MPA make multiple MPOs appropriate, as 
described in Sec.  450.310(e).
    (3) The MPA boundaries may be further expanded to encompass the 
entire metropolitan statistical area or combined statistical area, as 
defined by the Office of Management and Budget.
    (b) The MPA boundaries that existed on August 10, 2005 shall be 
retained for an urbanized area designated as a nonattainment area for 
ozone or carbon monoxide under the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et 
seq.) as of August 10, 2005. Such MPA boundaries may only be adjusted 
by agreement of the Governor and the affected MPO(s) in accordance with 
the redesignation procedures described in Sec.  450.310(h). The 
boundaries for an MPA that includes an urbanized area designated as a 
nonattainment area for ozone or carbon monoxide under the Clean Air Act 
(42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) after August 10, 2005, may be established to 
coincide with the designated boundaries of the ozone and/or carbon 
monoxide nonattainment area, in accordance with the requirements in 
Sec.  450.310(b).
    (c) An MPA boundary may encompass more than one urbanized area, but 
each urbanized area must be included in its entirety.
    (d) MPA boundaries may be established to coincide with the 
geography of regional economic development and growth forecasting 
areas.
    (e) Identification of new urbanized areas within an existing 
metropolitan planning area by the Bureau of the Census shall not 
require redesignation of the existing MPO.
    (f) In multistate metropolitan areas, the Governors with 
responsibility for a portion of the multistate metropolitan area, the 
appropriate MPO(s), and the public transportation operator(s) are 
strongly encouraged to coordinate transportation planning for the 
entire multistate metropolitan area. States involved in such multistate 
transportation planning may:
    (1) Enter into agreements or compacts, not in conflict with any law 
of the United States, for cooperative efforts and mutual assistance in 
support of activities authorized under this section as the activities 
pertain to interstate areas and localities within the States; and
    (2) Establish such agencies, joint or otherwise, as the States may 
determine desirable for making the agreements and compacts effective.
    (g) The MPA boundaries shall not overlap with each other.
    (h) Where the Governor and MPO(s) have determined that the size and 
complexity of the MPA make it appropriate to have more than one MPO 
designated for an MPA, the MPOs within the same MPA shall, at a 
minimum:
    (1) Establish written agreements that clearly identify coordination 
processes, the division of transportation planning responsibilities 
among and between the MPOs, and procedures for joint decisionmaking and 
the resolution of disagreements;
    (2) Through a joint decisionmaking process, develop a single TIP 
and a single metropolitan transportation plan for the entire MPA;
    (3) Establish the boundaries for each MPO within the MPA, by 
agreement among all affected MPOs and the Governor.
    (i) The MPO(s) (in cooperation with the State and public 
transportation operator(s)) shall review the MPA boundaries after each 
Census to determine if existing MPA boundaries meet the minimum 
statutory requirements for new and updated urbanized area(s), and shall 
adjust them as necessary in order to encompass the entire existing 
urbanized area(s) plus the contiguous area expected to become urbanized 
within the 20-year forecast period of the metropolitan transportation 
plan. If after a Census, two previously separate urbanized areas are 
defined as a single urbanized area, not later than 180 days after the 
release of the U.S. Bureau of the Census notice of the Qualifying Urban 
Areas for a decennial census, the Governor and MPO(s) shall redetermine 
the affected MPAs as a single MPA that includes the entire new 
urbanized area plus the contiguous area expected to become urbanized 
within the 20-year forecast period of the metropolitan transportation 
plan. As appropriate, additional adjustments should be made to reflect 
the most comprehensive boundary to foster an effective planning process 
that ensures connectivity between modes, improves access to modal 
systems, and promotes efficient overall transportation investment 
strategies. If more than one MPO is designated for urbanized areas that 
are merged following a Decennial Census by the Bureau of the Census, 
the State and the MPOs shall comply with the MPA boundary and MPO 
boundaries agreement provisions in Sec. Sec.  450.310 and 450.312, and 
shall determine whether the size and complexity of the MPA

[[Page 41484]]

make it appropriate for there to be more than one MPO designated within 
the MPA. If the size and complexity of the MPA do not make it 
appropriate to have multiple MPOs, the MPOs shall merge, in accordance 
with the redesignation procedures in Sec.  450.310(h). If the size and 
complexity do warrant the designation of multiple MPOs within the MPA, 
the MPOs shall comply with the requirements for jointly established 
performance targets, and a single metropolitan transportation plan and 
TIP for the entire MPA, before the next metropolitan transportation 
plan update that occurs on or after two years after the release of the 
Qualifying Urban Areas for the Decennial Census by the Bureau of the 
Census, or within 4 years of the designation of the new UZA boundary, 
whichever occurs first.
    (j) The Governor and MPOs are encouraged to consider merging 
multiple MPAs into a single MPA when:
    (1) Two or more urbanized areas are adjacent to each other;
    (2) Two or more urbanized areas are expected to expand and become 
adjacent within a 20 year forecast period; or
    (3) Two or more neighboring MPAs would otherwise both include the 
same non-urbanized area that is expected to become urbanized within a 
20-year forecast period.
    (k) Following MPA boundary approval by the MPO(s) and the Governor, 
the MPA boundary descriptions shall be provided for informational 
purposes to the FHWA and the FTA. The MPA boundary descriptions shall 
be submitted either as a geo-spatial database or described in 
sufficient detail to enable the boundaries to be accurately delineated 
on a map.
0
10. Section 450.314 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  450.314  Metropolitan planning agreements.

    (a) The MPO, the State(s), and the providers of public 
transportation shall cooperatively determine their mutual 
responsibilities in carrying out the metropolitan transportation 
planning process. These responsibilities shall be clearly identified in 
written agreements among the MPO(s), the State(s), and the providers of 
public transportation serving the MPA. To the extent possible, a single 
agreement between all responsible parties should be developed. The 
written agreement(s) shall include specific provisions for the 
development of financial plans that support the metropolitan 
transportation plan (see Sec.  450.324) and the metropolitan TIP (see 
Sec.  450.326), and development of the annual listing of obligated 
projects (see Sec.  450.334).
    (b) The MPO(s), the State(s), and the providers of public 
transportation should periodically review and update the agreement, as 
appropriate, to reflect effective changes.
    (c) If the MPA does not include the entire nonattainment or 
maintenance area, there shall be a written agreement among the State 
department of transportation, State air quality agency, affected local 
agencies, and the MPO(s) describing the process for cooperative 
planning and analysis of all projects outside the MPA within the 
nonattainment or maintenance area. The agreement must also indicate how 
the total transportation-related emissions for the nonattainment or 
maintenance area, including areas outside the MPA, will be treated for 
the purposes of determining conformity in accordance with the EPA's 
transportation conformity regulations (40 CFR part 93, subpart A). The 
agreement shall address policy mechanisms for resolving conflicts 
concerning transportation-related emissions that may arise between the 
MPA and the portion of the nonattainment or maintenance area outside 
the MPA.
    (d) In nonattainment or maintenance areas, if the MPO is not the 
designated agency for air quality planning under section 174 of the 
Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7504), there shall be a written agreement 
between the MPO and the designated air quality planning agency 
describing their respective roles and responsibilities for air quality 
related transportation planning.
    (e) If more than one MPO has been designated to serve an MPA, there 
shall be a written agreement among the MPOs, the State(s), and the 
public transportation operator(s) describing how the metropolitan 
transportation planning processes will be coordinated to assure the 
development of a single metropolitan transportation plan and TIP for 
the MPA. In cases in which a proposed transportation investment extends 
across the boundaries of more than one MPA, the MPOs shall coordinate 
to assure the development of consistent metropolitan transportation 
plans and TIPs. If any part of the urbanized area is a nonattainment or 
maintenance area, the agreement also shall include State and local air 
quality agencies. If more than one MPO has been designated to serve an 
MPA, the metropolitan transportation planning processes for affected 
MPOs must reflect coordinated data collection, analysis, and planning 
assumptions across the MPA. Coordination of data collection, analysis, 
and planning assumptions is also strongly encouraged for neighboring 
MPOs that are not within the same MPA. Coordination efforts and 
outcomes shall be documented in subsequent transmittals of the UPWP and 
other planning products, including the metropolitan transportation plan 
and TIP, to the State(s), the FHWA, and the FTA.
    (f) Where the boundaries of the MPA extend across two or more 
States, the Governors with responsibility for a portion of the 
multistate MPA, the appropriate MPO(s), and the public transportation 
operator(s) shall coordinate transportation planning for the entire 
multistate MPA, including jointly developing planning products for the 
MPA. States involved in such multistate transportation planning may:
    (1) Enter into agreements or compacts, not in conflict with any law 
of the United States, for cooperative efforts and mutual assistance in 
support of activities authorized under this section as the activities 
pertain to interstate areas and localities within the States; and
    (2) Establish such agencies, joint or otherwise, as the States may 
determine desirable for making the agreements and compacts effective.
    (g) If an MPA includes an urbanized area that has been designated 
as a TMA in addition to an urbanized area that is not designated as a 
TMA, the non-TMA urbanized area shall not be treated as a TMA. However, 
if more than one MPO serves the MPA, a written agreement shall be 
established between the MPOs within the MPA boundaries, which clearly 
identifies the roles and responsibilities of each MPO in meeting 
specific TMA requirements (e.g., congestion management process, Surface 
Transportation Program funds suballocated to the urbanized area over 
200,000 population, and project selection).
    (h) The MPO(s), State(s), and the providers of public 
transportation shall jointly agree upon and develop specific written 
provisions for cooperatively developing and sharing information related 
to transportation performance data, the selection of performance 
targets, the reporting of performance targets, the reporting of 
performance to be used in tracking progress toward attainment of 
critical outcomes for the region of the MPO (see Sec.  450.306(d)), and 
the collection of data for the asset management plans for the NHS for 
each of the following circumstances: When one MPO serves an urbanized 
area, when more than one MPO serves an urbanized area, and when an MPA 
includes an urbanized area that has been designated as a TMA as well as 
an

[[Page 41485]]

urbanized area that is not a TMA. These provisions shall be documented 
either as part of the metropolitan planning agreements required under 
paragraphs (a), (e), and (g) of this section, or documented it in some 
other means outside of the metropolitan planning agreements as 
determined cooperatively by the MPO(s), State(s), and providers of 
public transportation.


Sec.  450.316  [Amended]

0
11. Amend Sec.  450.316(b), (c), and (d) by removing ``MPO'' and adding 
in its place ``MPO(s)'' wherever it occurs.
0
12. Amend Sec.  450.324 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a) replace ``MPO'' with ``MPO(s)'' wherever it occurs;
0
b. Redesignate paragraphs (c) through (m) as paragraphs (d) through 
(n), respectively;
0
c. Add new paragraph (c); and
0
d. In newly redesignated paragraphs (d), (e), (f), (g)(10), 
(g)(11)(iv), (h), (k), (l), and (n), remove ``MPO'' with and add in its 
place``MPO(s)'' wherever it occurs.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  450.324  Development and content of the transportation 
improvement program (TIP).

* * * * *
    (c) If more than one MPO has been designated to serve an MPA, those 
MPOs within the MPA shall:
    (1) Jointly develop a single metropolitan transportation plan for 
the MPA;
    (2) Jointly establish, for the MPA, the performance targets that 
address the performance measures described in 23 CFR part 490 (where 
applicable), 49 U.S.C. 5326(c) and 49 U.S.C. 5329(d); and
    (3) Agree to a process for making a single conformity determination 
on the joint plan (in nonattainment or maintenance areas).
* * * * *
0
13. Amend Sec.  450.326 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraph (a); and
0
b. In paragraphs (b), (j), and (p) remove ``MPO'' and add in its place 
``MPO(s)'' wherever it occurs.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  450.326  Development and content of the transportation 
improvement program (TIP).

    (a) The MPO, in cooperation with the State(s) and any affected 
public transportation operator(s), shall develop a TIP for the 
metropolitan planning area. If more than one MPO has been designated to 
serve an MPA, those MPOs within the MPA shall jointly develop a single 
TIP for the MPA and shall agree to a process for making a single 
conformity determination on the joint TIP (in nonattainment or 
maintenance areas). The TIP shall reflect the investment priorities 
established in the current metropolitan transportation plan and shall 
cover a period of no less than 4 years, be updated at least every 4 
years, and be approved by the MPO(s) and the Governor. However, if the 
TIP covers more than 4 years, the FHWA and the FTA will consider the 
projects in the additional years as informational. The MPO(s) may 
update the TIP more frequently, but the cycle for updating the TIP must 
be compatible with the STIP development and approval process. The TIP 
expires when the FHWA/FTA approval of the STIP expires. Copies of any 
updated or revised TIPs must be provided to the FHWA and the FTA. In 
nonattainment and maintenance areas subject to transportation 
conformity requirements, the FHWA and the FTA, as well as the MPO, must 
make a conformity determination on any updated or amended TIP, in 
accordance with the Clean Air Act requirements and the EPA's 
transportation conformity regulations (40 CFR part 93, subpart A).
* * * * *


Sec.  450.328  [Amended]

0
14. Amend Sec.  450.328(a), (b), and (c) by removing ``MPO'' and adding 
in its place ``MPO(s)'' wherever it occurs.


Sec.  450.330  [Amended]

0
15. Amend Sec.  450.330 (a) and (c) by removing ``MPO'' and adding in 
its place ``MPO(s)'' wherever it occurs.


Sec.  450.332  [Amended]

0
16. Amend Sec.  450.332(b) and (c) by removing ``MPO'' and adding in 
its place ``MPO(s)'' wherever it occurs.


Sec.  450.334  [Amended]

0
17. Amend Sec.  450.334(a) by removing ``MPO'' and adding in its place 
``MPO(s)'' wherever it occurs.


Sec.  450.336  [Amended]

0
18. Amend Sec.  450.336(b)(1)(i), (b)(1)(ii), and (b)(2) by removing 
``MPO'' and adding in its place ``MPO(s)'' wherever it occurs.
0
19. Amend Sec.  450.340 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a) adding ``or MPOs'' after ``MPO'' wherever it 
occurs;
0
b. Adding paragraph (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  450.340  Phase-in of new requirements.

* * * * *
    (h) States and MPOs shall comply with the MPA boundary and MPO 
boundaries agreement provisions in 450.310 and 450.312, shall document 
the determination of the Governor and MPO(s) whether the size and 
complexity of the MPA make multiple MPOs appropriate, and the MPOs 
shall comply with the requirements for jointly established performance 
targets, and a single metropolitan transportation plan and TIP for the 
entire MPA, before the next metropolitan transportation plan update 
that occurs on or after [date 2 years after the effective date of the 
final rule].

Title 49--Transportation

PART 613--METROPOLITAN AND STATEWIDE AND NONMETROPOLITAN PLANNING

0
20. The authority citation for part 613 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 134, 135, and 217(g); 42 U.S.C. 3334, 
4233, 4332, 7410 et seq.; 49 U.S.C. 5303-5306, 5323(k); and 49 CFR 
1.51(f) and 21.7(a).

[FR Doc. 2016-14854 Filed 6-24-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-22-P