[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 228 (Wednesday, November 29, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 56540-56545]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-25762]



[[Page 56540]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 450

Federal Transit Administration

49 CFR Part 613

[Docket No. FHWA-2017-0003]; FHWA RIN 2125-AF75; FTA RIN 2132-AB33]


Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area 
Reform

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rulemaking rescinds certain transportation planning 
regulations pertaining to the establishment of the metropolitan 
planning area (MPA) boundaries, the designation of metropolitan 
planning organizations (MPO), and the coordination among MPOs. The 
amendments contained in this rule carry out the statutory mandate to 
rescind the final rule published on December 20, 2016, on this topic.

DATES: Effective on December 29, 2017.

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 the 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: 

Electronic Access and Filing

    This document may be viewed online through the Federal eRulemaking 
portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Retrieval help and guidelines are 
available on the Web site. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days 
a year. An electronic copy of this document may also be downloaded from 
the Office of the Federal Register home page at: http://www.ofr.gov and 
the Government Publishing Office Web page at: http://www.gpo.gov.

Background

    Transportation planning is a cooperative, performance-driven 
process by which long and short-range transportation improvement 
priorities are determined. States, MPOs, and transit operators conduct 
transportation planning, with active involvement from the traveling 
public, the business community, community groups, environmental 
organizations, and freight operators. State governments, MPOs, and 
transit operators are essential partners in the management of the 
Nation's transportation system and best suited to develop and implement 
a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive, or ``3-C,'' planning 
process for their States and metropolitan regions.
    On December 20, 2016, FHWA and FTA promulgated a rule at 23 CFR 
part 450 and 49 CFR part 613 (81 FR 93448) (December 2016 Final Rule), 
which required MPOs to achieve compliance with the statutory 
requirement that an MPA include an entire urbanized area (UZA) and the 
contiguous area expected to become urbanized within a 20-year forecast 
period through a range of coordination options including: Adjustment of 
their boundaries; coordination with other MPOs within their UZA to 
create unified planning products for the MPA; mergers; or the receipt 
of an exception from the Secretary.
    On May 12, 2017, the President signed Public Law 115-33 (131 Stat. 
845) repealing the December 2016 Final Rule. The legislation provides 
that the 2016 Final Rule shall have no force or effect, and any 
regulation revised by that rule shall be applied as if that rule had 
not been issued. As a result, the amendments in this final rule carry 
out that statutory instruction by revising the regulations to read as 
if the December 2016 Final Rule had not been issued.
    The FHWA and FTA will continue to evaluate their regulations and 
guidance to promote improvements to the planning process in the least 
burdensome manner.

Discussion of the Changes

    This rulemaking removes the revisions made by the December 2016 
Final Rule, and restores the language promulgated in the May 27, 2016, 
rulemaking (81 FR 34050). Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 
U.S.C. 553(b)), an agency may waive the normal notice-and-comment 
procedure if it finds, for good cause, that notice and comment would be 
impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. The 
Agencies find good cause that notice and comment for this rule is 
unnecessary due to the nature of the revisions (i.e., the rule simply 
carries out the statutory language found in Public Law 115-33 without 
interpretation to rescind the December 2016 Final Rule). The statutory 
language does not require regulatory interpretation to carry out its 
intent. The regulatory amendments in this final rule implement the 
statutory language, and comments cannot alter the regulation given the 
explicit mandate. Accordingly, the Agencies find good cause under 5 
U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) to waive notice and opportunity for comment.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 
13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), Executive Order 
13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs), and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    The FHWA and FTA have determined that this rulemaking is a 
significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 
(E.O.) 12866, and within the meaning of DOT regulatory policies and 
procedures. This action complies with E.O.s 12866, 13563, and 13771 to 
improve regulation.
    This final rule is considered an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action. 
This rulemaking eliminates requirements that MPOs achieve compliance 
with the statutory requirement that an MPA include an entire UZA and 
the contiguous area expected to become urbanized within a 20-year 
forecast period for the metropolitan transportation plan by 
implementing one of several coordination options including: By 
adjusting their boundaries; by coordinating with other MPOs within 
their UZA to create unified planning products for the MPA; by merging; 
or by receiving an exception from the Secretary.
    The FHWA and FTA have estimated that modifying these requirements 
would provide a maximum average annual cost savings of $86.3 million 
annually over 4 years and impose no additional costs on MPOs and 
States. This equates to a present value, using end of period 
discounting, of $330.4 million at a 3 percent discount rate and $312.8 
million at a 7 percent discount rate. An indefinite horizon (i.e., 
annuity) equivalent is approximated by the calculation $330.4 * 0.03 = 
$9.9 million for a 3 percent discount rate and $312.8 * 0.07 = $21.9 
million for a 7 percent discount rate. This estimate is consistent with 
the cost estimate the

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Agencies previously provided in which FHWA and FTA estimated the total 
costs for merging all 142 affected MPOs, and the one-time cost of 
developing a dispute resolution process would result in an estimated 
maximum average annual cost of this rule of $86.3 million over 4 years. 
The FHWA and FTA do not anticipate that this rule would impose any 
additional costs for States and MPOs to implement because it allows 
these entities to follow the procedures and protocols they had in place 
as of December 2016.
    This action complies with the principles of E.O. 13563. After 
evaluating the costs and benefits of the rule, FHWA and FTA believe 
that the cost savings from this rulemaking would exceed the foregone 
benefits. 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.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
    Since the Agencies find good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) to 
waive notice and opportunity for comment for this rule, the provisions 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 5 U.S.C. 601-612) do 
not apply. However, the Agencies evaluated the effects of this action 
on small entities and determined the action would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The rule addresses the obligation of Federal funds to State DOTs for 
Federal-aid highway projects. The 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 need to serve less than 50,000 people. The MPOs 
serve UZAs with populations of 50,000 or more. Therefore, the MPOs that 
might incur economic impacts under this rule do not meet the definition 
of a small entity.
    The FHWA and FTA hereby certify that this rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    The FHWA and FTA have determined that this rule 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 rule does not 
include a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $155.1 
million or more in any single year (when adjusted for inflation) in 
2012 dollars for either State, local, and Tribal governments in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector. In addition, 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 the Federal Transit Act 
permit this type of flexibility.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism Assessment)

    Executive Order 13132 requires agencies to ensure meaningful and 
timely input by State and local officials in the development of 
regulatory policies that may have a substantial, direct effect on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. This action has been analyzed in 
accordance with the principles and criteria contained in E.O. 13132 
dated August 4, 1999, and the Agencies determined this action will not 
have a substantial direct effect or sufficient federalism implications 
on the States. The Agencies also determined this action will not 
preempt any State law or regulation or affect the States' ability to 
discharge traditional State governmental functions.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing E.O. 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.
Paperwork Reduction Act
    Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct, 
sponsor, or require through regulations. The FHWA and FTA have analyzed 
this rule under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), and this rule does 
not impose additional information collection requirements for the 
purposes of the PRA above and beyond existing information collection 
clearances from OMB.
National Environmental Policy Act
    Federal agencies are required to adopt implementing procedures for 
the 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 rule 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 involve or lead directly to construction) for FHWA, and 23 CFR 
771.118(c)(4) (planning and administrative activities that do not 
involve or lead directly to construction) for FTA. The FHWA and FTA 
have evaluated whether the rule will involve unusual or extraordinary 
circumstances and have determined that it will not.

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    The FHWA and FTA have analyzed this rule under E.O. 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights. The FHWA and FTA do not believe this rule affects a 
taking of private property or otherwise has taking implications under 
E.O. 12630.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This rule 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.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

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

Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    The FHWA and FTA have analyzed this rule under E.O. 13175, dated 
November 6, 2000, and believe that it will not have substantial direct 
effects on one or more Indian tribes; will not impose substantial 
direct compliance costs on Indian Tribal governments; and will not 
preempt Tribal laws. The rule addresses obligations of Federal funds

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to State DOTs for Federal-aid highway projects and will not impose any 
direct compliance requirements on Indian Tribal governments. Therefore, 
a Tribal summary impact statement is not required.

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 action 
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.

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. All 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 this action under the E.O., 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 will consider EJ.
    Nothing inherent in the rule will disproportionately impact 
minority or low-income populations. The rule establishes procedures and 
other requirements to guide future State and local decisionmaking on 
programs and projects. Neither the rule nor 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135 
dictate the outcome of those decisions. The FHWA and FTA have 
determined that this action will not cause disproportionately high and 
adverse human health and environmental effects on minority or low-
income populations.
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 rule with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects

23 CFR Part 450

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

49 CFR Part 613

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

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 21, 2017 under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.85.
Brandye L. Hendrickson,
Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
K. Jane Williams,
Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration.

    In consideration of the foregoing, FHWA and FTA 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, 135, and 315; 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, 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 for the area and the Governor, 
in which the metropolitan transportation planning process is carried 
out.
* * * * *
    Metropolitan transportation plan means the official multimodal 
transportation plan addressing no less than a 20-year planning horizon 
that the MPO develops, adopts, and updates through the metropolitan 
transportation planning process.
* * * * *
    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 as part of the 
metropolitan transportation planning process, 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

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this part for metropolitan areas of the State. The State is encouraged 
to rely on information, studies, or analyses provided by MPOs for 
portions of the transportation system located in metropolitan planning 
areas;
* * * * *


Sec.  450.218  [Amended]

0
4. Amend Sec.  450.218(b) by removing ``MPO(s)'' and adding in its 
place ``MPO'' in both places it appears.


Sec.  450.226  [Amended]

0
5. Amend Sec.  450.226 by removing paragraph (g).

0
6. Amend Sec.  450.300 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraph (a); and
0
b. Remove from paragraph (b) the word ``Encourage'' and add in its 
place ``Encourages''.
    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, 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, bicycle transportation facilities, and 
intermodal facilities that support intercity transportation, including 
intercity buses and intercity bus facilities and commuter vanpool 
providers) fosters economic growth and development, and takes into 
consideration resiliency needs, while minimizing transportation-related 
fuel consumption and air pollution; and
* * * * *

0
7. Amend Sec.  450.306 by removing paragraph (d)(5) and revising 
paragraph (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  450.306  Scope of the metropolitan transportation planning 
process.

* * * * *
    (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 this part, taking 
into account the complexity of the transportation problems in the area. 
The MPO 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) To the extent possible, only one MPO shall be designated for 
each urbanized area or group of contiguous urbanized areas. More than 
one MPO may be designated to serve an urbanized area only if the 
Governor(s) and the existing MPO, if applicable, determine that the 
size and complexity of the urbanized area-make designation of more than 
one MPO appropriate. In those cases where two or more MPOs serve the 
same urbanized area, the MPOs shall establish official, written 
agreements that clearly identify areas of coordination, and the 
division of transportation planning responsibilities among the MPOs.
* * * * *
    (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 
MPA. 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) The boundaries of a metropolitan planning area (MPA) shall be 
determined by agreement between the MPO and the Governor.
    (1) At a minimum, the MPA boundaries 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.
    (2) 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) An MPO that serves 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, shall retain the MPA 
boundary that existed on August 10, 2005. The MPA boundaries for such 
MPOs may only be adjusted by agreement of the Governor and the affected 
MPO in accordance with the redesignation procedures described in Sec.  
450.310(h). The MPA boundary for an MPO that serves 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.
    (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) Where the boundaries of the urbanized area or MPA extend across 
two or more States, the Governors with responsibility for a portion of 
the multistate area, the appropriate MPO(s), and the public 
transportation operator(s) are strongly encouraged to coordinate 
transportation planning for the entire multistate area.
    (g) The MPA boundaries shall not overlap with each other.
    (h) Where part of an urbanized area served by one MPO extends into 
an adjacent MPA, the MPOs shall, at a minimum, establish written 
agreements that clearly identify areas of coordination and the division 
of transportation planning responsibilities among and between the MPOs. 
Alternatively, the MPOs may adjust their existing boundaries so that 
the entire urbanized area lies within only one MPA. Boundary 
adjustments that change the composition of the MPO may require 
redesignation of one or more such MPOs.
    (i) The MPO (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. As appropriate, additional adjustments should 
be made to reflect the most comprehensive boundary to foster an 
effective planning process that ensures connectivity between modes,

[[Page 56544]]

improves access to modal systems, and promotes efficient overall 
transportation investment strategies.
    (j) Following MPA boundary approval by the MPO 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, 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, 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 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 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. If any part of the urbanized area is a nonattainment 
or maintenance area, the agreement also shall include State and local 
air quality agencies. The metropolitan transportation planning 
processes for affected MPOs should, to the maximum extent possible, 
reflect coordinated data collection, analysis, and planning assumptions 
across the MPAs. Alternatively, a single metropolitan transportation 
plan and/or TIP for the entire urbanized area may be developed jointly 
by the MPOs in cooperation with their respective planning partners. 
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 urbanized area or MPA extend across 
two or more States, the Governors with responsibility for a portion of 
the multistate area, the appropriate MPO(s), and the public 
transportation operator(s) shall coordinate transportation planning for 
the entire multistate 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) If part of an urbanized area that has been designated as a TMA 
overlaps into an adjacent MPA serving an urbanized area that is not 
designated as a TMA, the adjacent urbanized area shall not be treated 
as a TMA. However, a written agreement shall be established between the 
MPOs with MPA boundaries, including a portion of the TMA, 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)(1) 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 State asset management plan for the NHS 
for each of the following circumstances:
    (i) When one MPO serves an urbanized area;
    (ii) When more than one MPO serves an urbanized area; and
    (iii) When an urbanized area that has been designated as a TMA 
overlaps into an adjacent MPA serving an urbanized area that is not a 
TMA.
    (2) These provisions shall be documented either:
    (i) As part of the metropolitan planning agreements required under 
paragraphs (a), (e), and (g) of this section; or
    (ii) Documented 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 in paragraphs (b) introductory text, (c), and 
(d) by removing ``MPO(s)'' and adding in its place ``MPO'' wherever it 
occurs.


Sec.  450.324   [Amended]

0
12. Amend Sec.  450.324 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a), remove ``MPO(s)'' and add in its place ``MPO'' 
wherever it occurs;
0
b. Remove new paragraph (c);
0
c. Redesignate paragraphs (d) through (n) as paragraphs (c) through 
(m), respectively; and
0
d. In newly redesignated paragraphs (c), (d), (e), (f)(10), 
(f)(11)(iv), (g) introductory text, (j), (k), and (m),

[[Page 56545]]

remove ``MPO(s)'' with and add in its place ``MPO'' wherever it occurs.

0
13. Amend Sec.  450.326 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraph (a); and
0
b. In paragraphs (b), (j), and (p), remove ``MPO(s)'' and add in its 
place ``MPO'' 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. 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 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 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 by removing ``MPO(s)'' and adding in its place 
``MPO'' wherever it occurs.


Sec.  450.330   [Amended]

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


Sec.  450.332   [Amended]

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


Sec.  450.334   [Amended]

0
17. Amend Sec.  450.334 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a), remove ``MPO(s)'' and add in its place ``MPO''; 
and
0
b. In paragraph (c), remove ``MPO(s)'' and add in its place ``MPO's''.


Sec.  450.336   [Amended]

0
18. Amend Sec.  450.336 in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) and (b)(2) by 
removing ``MPO(s)'' and adding in its place ``MPO'' wherever it occurs.


Sec.  450.340   [Amended]

0
19. Amend Sec.  450.340 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a), remove ``or MPOs'' wherever it occurs; and
0
b. Remove paragraph (h).

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 
1.91(a) and 21.7(a).

[FR Doc. 2017-25762 Filed 11-28-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-22-P