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  An Introduction to Particulate Matter for Transportation Officials  What is particulate matter? Particulate matter (PM) is the term for particles and liquid dropletssuspended in the air. Particles emitted directly into the air are known as“direct” or “primary” PM. Other particles are formed indirectly inthe atmosphere from the chemical reaction of gaseous pollutantsknown as “precursors.” Sources of direct PM and PM precursorsinclude factories, power plants, vehicles, construction activity,and natural sources such as fires and windblown dust. WHO SHOULD USE THIS BROCHURE? This brochure is intended fortransportation officials andother stakeholders involved intransportation planning andproject development and thetransportation conformity process.It provides a brief overview ofparticulate matter, highlightskey aspects of transportationconformity in particulate matternonattainment and maintenanceareas, and provides a few resourcesfor additional information. LOOKINSIDE PM Standards 2PM Health Effects 2Conformity Tests 3Estimating Emissions 4Consultation 4 The brochure is sponsored by U.S. DOTFHWA Office of Human and NaturalEnvironment and the Resource CenterAir Quality Technical Service Team.Graphics provided courtesy of theU.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Particles can be emitted directly into the atmosphere (above)or formed indirectly through chemical reactions (below). PARTICULATE MATTER January 2006 FHWA-HEP-05-049  What is the difference between PM 10 and PM 2.5 ? Particles come in a wide variety of sizes and have been historically assessed based on size, typically measured by the diameter of the particle in micrometers. PM 10 refers to particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or less. PM 2.5 , or fine PM,refers to particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less. (Note: a human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter and a grain of sand is about 90 micrometersindiameter). Areas of the country are designated nonattainment or attainmentseparately for the PM 10 and PM 2.5 standards. What are the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM? Both PM 10 and PM 2.5 have two standards related tothe average concentrationover different time periods: PM 10 Annual 50 µg/m 3 ** To attain this standard, the expected annual arithmeticmean PM 10 concentrationat each monitor within an area must not exceed 50 µg/m 3 . PM 10 24-hour 150 µg/m 3  Not to be exceeded more than once per year. PM 2.5 Annual 15.0 µg/m 3 To attain this standard, the 3-year average of the annual arithmetic meanPM 2.5 concentrations from single or multiple community-oriented monitorsmust not exceed 15.0 µg/m 3 . PM 2.5 24-hour 65 µg/m 3 To attain this standard, the 3-year average of the 98th percentile of 24-hour concentrations at each population-oriented monitor within an area mustnot exceed 65 µg/m 3 . ** µg/m 3 is micrograms per a cubic meter. When are air quality plans for PM 2.5 due, and when must areasattain the standards? State implementation plans (SIPs) for PM 2.5 are due by April 5, 2008. Areas mustattain the standards as expeditiously as practicable, with a maximum attainmentdate of April 2010. An extension of an additional one to five years may be possiblefor certainareas based on the severity of the problem and the availability of control measures. Attainment must be demonstrated based on monitoring datafor the three years prior to the attainment date. Under interagency consultationrequirements, transportation agencies should be involved in the developmentof the SIP, transportation-related control measures, and the SIP motor vehicleemissions budgets. How does surface transportation contribute to PM? Motor vehicles (i.e., cars, trucks, andbuses) emit direct PM from their tailpipes,as well as from normal brakeand tire wear. In addition, vehicles causedust from paved and unpaved roads tobe re-entrained, or re-suspended, in theatmosphere. Also, high-way and transitproject construction may cause dust. Finally, precursors in vehicleexhaustmay react in the atmosphere to form PM, including nitrogen oxides(NOx),volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and additionally for PM 2.5 , sulfur oxides (SOx) and ammonia (NH 3 ). 2  | An Introduction to Particulate Matter for Transportation Officials  FHWA-HEP-05-049 | January 2006 How do particles affect yourhealth? Many scientific studies have linked  breathing PM to a series of significant health problems, includingaggravated asthma, increases inrespiratory symptoms like coughingand difficult or painful breathing,chronic bronchitis, decreased lungfunction, and premature death.Certain people, such as older adults,children, and those with existingrespiratory problems, may have ahigher risk for PM-related healtheffects. Short-term exposure canaggravate lung disease, causeasthma attacks and acute bronchitis,and may also increase susceptibilityto respiratory infections. Long-termexposure has been linked to reduced lung function and the developmentof chronic bronchitis.  When does transportationconformity apply for PM 2.5 ? Transportation conformity for PM 2.5 will apply one year from the effectivedate of nonattainment designations, or April 5, 2006. By that date,FHWA/FTA must determine con-formity of metropolitan transportation plans and TIPs in PM 2.5 nonattainmentareas, or conformity will lapse.During a conformity lapse,FHWA/FTA funding and approvalsare restricted to certain types of  projects that are exempt from theconformity rule (i.e., safety projects,etc.), transportation control measuresin approved SIPs, and project phasesthat have already been authorized. Inaddition, after April 5, 2006, project-level conformity determinations January 2006 | FHWA-HEP-05-049 An Introduction to Particulate Matter for Transportation Officials  | 3 Attainment and Nonattainment Areasin the U.S.: PM 2.5 Standards Attainment (or Unclassifiable) Areas(2,933 counties)Nonattainment Areas(177 entire counties, 31 partial counties) How many areas are currentlydesignated nonattainmentfor PM 2.5 or PM 10 ?  Nonattainment designations for PM 2.5  became effective on April 5, 2005.There are 39 PM 2.5 nonattainmentareas comprised of 208 counties or  partial counties. Currently,thereare 87 PM 10 nonattainment and maintenance areas, mostly in theWestern United States. PM 2.5 TIMELINE January 5, 2005 PM 2.5 NonattainmentDesignations April 5, 2005 PM 2.5 DesignationsEffective April 5, 2006 Conformity Appliesfor PM 2.5 April 5, 2010 Maximum AttainmentDate April 5, 2008 PM 2.5 SIPs Due 20062007200820092010 What are the transportationconformity requirementsfor particles? Conformity applies to metropolitantransportation plans and transportationimprovement programs (TIPs), and FHWA and FTA projects in metro- politan and rural PM 10 and PM 2.5 nonattainment and maintenance areas.Key components of conformity aredetailed in the TransportationConformity Rule (40 CFR Parts 51 &93) and include using the latest planning assumptions and emissionsmodel, interagency and publicconsultation, timely implementationof transportation control measures inapproved SIPs, regional emissionsanalysis, and in some cases localized or “hot-spot” analysis.must be made prior to final NEPAapproval and/or project authoriza-tions for non-exempt Federal proj-ects or project phases. What conformity tests applyfor PM? Once a SIP motor vehicle emissions budget is approved or found adequate by EPA, projected emissions from anarea’s planned transportation systemmust be no greater than the budget.Prior to an adequate or approved  budget, it must be demonstrated that projected emissions from the planned transportation system are no greater than emissionsfrom a “no-build”scenario, or no greater than emissionsin a baseline year – 1990 (PM 10 ) or 2002 (PM 2.5 ).  What PM precursors must beconsidered in conformity? In both PM 10 and PM 2.5 areas,directly emitted PM from motor vehicle tailpipes, as well as fromnormalbrake and tire wear, must beconsidered in conformity. In addition,in PM 10 areas, VOCs and/or NOxare considered if EPA or the Stateair agency finds that they are asignificant contributor to the PM 10  problem.In PM 2.5 areas, NOx must be considered unless EPA and theState air agency find that it is not asignificantcontributor to the PM 2.5  problem. VOCs, SOx, and NH 3 areto be considered in PM 2.5 areas, onlyif EPA or the State air agency findsthat they are significantcontributorsto the PM 2.5  problem. Once submitted SIP budgets are found adequate or approved, only those precursors thathave identified budgets in the SIPneed to be considered in conformity. When must road dust beconsidered in conformity? For PM 10 areas, road dust from paved and unpaved roads should beincluded in all regional emissionsanalyses. ForPM 2.5 areas, road dustis included before a SIP is submitted and budgets are found adequate or approved if EPA or the State air agency finds that it is a significantcontributor to the PM 2.5  problem.After a SIP budget is found adequateor approved, road dust is included inthe PM 2.5 regional emissionsanalysisif the budget includes road dust. When must construction dustbe considered in conformity? Dust from transit and highway project construction in PM 10 and PM 2.5 areas must only be included in the regional emissions analysis if the SIP identifies it as a contributor (PM 10 ) or significant contributor (PM 2.5 ) to the nonattainment problem. How are PM emissions estimated? Estimates of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) are multipliedby emissionfactors from EPA’s latest approved emissionsmodel to estimate PMemissions. Emissions from exhaust,and tire and brake wear, as well asapplicable precursor emissionsarecurrently estimated using MOBILE6.2(EMFAC 2002 in California). Incertain areas, estimates of dust fromroads and construction may be required using EPA’s AP-42 methodology. When must project-level localizedanalysis be performed? Qualitative localized, or hot-spot,analysis is requiredfor all non-exemptFHWA and FTA projects in PM 10 nonattainment and maintenanceareas. In addition, quantitativeanalysis may be required for PM 10 once EPA develops guidance. Asof January 2006, EPA has not yetfinalized any regulatory requirementsfor hot-spot analysis in PM 2.5 areas. What are some of the things thatshould be part of interagencyconsultation for PM 2.5 ? Interagency consultation will play animportant role in making transportationconformity determinations in the PM 2.5 nonattainment areas. Typical issuesfor interagency discussion include:ãHow to coordinate, based on thegeographic/politicalboundaries of the nonattainment area (i.e., who isresponsible for various requirements).ãHow to coordinate transportation planning cycles for a nonattainmentarea with more than one Stateand/or MPO.ãSelection of interim emission testto demonstrate conformity beforea SIP is submitted.ãSelection of analysis years.ãLatest planning assumptions.ãSignificance of on-road mobilecontribution to dust emissions,and other precursor emissions.ãDevelopment of SIP controlmeasures and budgets. What can transportationagencies do to reduce PM? PM emissions can be reduced in anumber of ways, such as morestringent standards for engines and fuels, diesel retrofit programs,accelerated retirement programs,and idling-reduction programs.Other control measures that can be implemented locally includediesel retrofits of buses and trucks,on-road street sweepers and pavingnon-paved roads. Research isunderway to identify other cost-effective strategies that transporta-tion agencies could implement toreduce PM. WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION? ã FHWA’s Transportation Conformity Website: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/conform.htm ã EPA’s Transportation Conformity Website: www.epa.gov/otaq/transp/traqconf.htm ã EPA’s PM2.5 Designations: www.epa.gov/pmdesignations ã EPA’s PM Basics: www.epa.gov/oar/particlepollution January 2006 | FHWA-HEP-05-049 An Introduction to Particulate Matter for Transportation Officials  | 4
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