NCHRP 25-25 Task 78, “Programmatic Agreements for Project-Level Air Quality Analyses,” completed in 2015,successfully developed templates for a programmatic agreement (PA) and an associated technical support document (TSD) that were designed to be used by state DOTs to streamline project-level air quality (hot-spot) analyses for carbon monoxide (CO). The Task 78 study used MOVES2010b; which has since been replaced by EPA with MOVES2014a. More recently, FHWA announced that it is undertaking a streamlining effort by conducting CO project level analysis to reduce the analysis burden of State DOTs and project sponsors when assessing the air quality impacts in the project development process. Task 104 will update the Task 78 PA and TSD as needed (e.g., update the modeling to use current official models and cover additional project configurations and/or types), closely coordinating with FHWA for the purpose of preventing overlap between the two modeling efforts.
This research will include a pilot program that would assist two or three state DOTs in using the updated templates to acquire necessary approvals for execution of a PA for project-level air quality analysis with FHWA. The pilot would start from the beginning of the analysis process, allow DOTs to make revisions to the templates as needed (e.g., to update the modeling to use current models, cover additional project configurations and/or types, and then apply state-specific modeling inputs), and continue through necessary approvals and subsequent execution with FHWA. Lessons learned through this initiative would inform and assist the subsequent implementation of the updated templates for state DOTs across the nation.
The objective of this research is to update the template PA and TSD developed in NCHRP 25-25 Task 78 as needed to maximize their utility to state DOTs, in coordination with the related modeling for the FHWA streamlining effort. As a pilot, two state DOTs will implement the use of the updated PA templates.
Task 1: In coordination with FHWA’s CO streamlining effort, develop an updated version of the template PA and TSD developed in NCHRP 25-25 Task 78. In particular, persistence factors, worst-case modeling assumptions, grade and intersection configurations modeled will be updated. Templates will be designed for a tiered approach, allowing states to clear smaller projects using minimal project-specific information.
Task 2: Conduct a pilot of the updated templates in two state DOTs. For pilot implementation, state-specific PAs and TSDs will be developed. Subsequent to the pilots, the research team shall prepare a memorandum documenting issues and obstacles encountered and the solutions that were applied to finalize the PA.
Task 3: Prepare a revised template PA and TSD based on the updated modeling, modifications to the documentation, and any further refinements needed to finalize the PAs in the pilot states.
Task 4: Develop a project summary report documenting the updating effort, the pilot results, and the final changes to the template PA and TSD.