Air Quality Conformity Determination – PM 2.5

In July 1997, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particles designed to protect the public from exposure to PM 2.5 at levels that may cause health problems. Areas not meeting the PM 2.5 NAAQS are called PM 2.5 nonattainment areas. EPA designated The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT as a PM 2.5 nonattainment area. Connecticut portions include the Fairfield County and New Haven County areas.

These areas have had, or have contributed to, PM 2.5 levels higher than allowed under EPA's national air quality standards. Nonattainment areas are subject to a measure known as “transportation conformity,” which requires local transportation and air quality officials to coordinate planning efforts to ensure that transportation projects, such as road construction, do not affect an area's ability to reach its clean air goals.

By April 5, 2006, all PM 2.5 nonattainment areas must meet the transportation conformity requirements.   Failure to meet these requirements may result in withholding of federal funds for new transportation projects.

In accordance to this ruling, a PM2.5 Air Quality Conformity Determination of the 2004 Regional Transportation Plans and the FFY 2005-2009 Transportation Improvement Programs for the Connecticut portion of NY-NJ-CT PM2.5 Nonattainment area has been prepared.

The Air Quality Conformity Determination will be available for review for a thirty-day public comment period between February 1, 2006 and March 3, 2006 at the following Metropolitan Planning Organizations:

     Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley (COGCNV)

60 North Main Street – Third Floor

Waterbury, CT 06702-1403

Greater Bridgeport and Valley MPO (GB&VMPO)

Bridgeport Transportation Center

525 Water Street

Bridgeport, CT 06604-4902

Valley COG

Derby Railroad Station, Main St.

Derby, CT 06418

Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials (HVCEO)

Old Town Hall

162 Whisconier Rd

Brookfield, CT 06804

South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG)

127 Washington Avenue – 4th floor-west

North Haven, CT 06473-1715

South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA)

888 Washington Boulevard – 3rd floor

Stamford, CT 06901

OR at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) website:

To view this document, it is suggested that you call first to schedule an appointment at these locations. 

Two public informational meetings to further address this document have been scheduled.  The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 (snow date February 22, 2006) at the Stamford Government Center located at 888 Washington Boulevard – 3rd floor, Stamford Connecticut from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The second meeting will be held on Thursday, February 16, 2006 (snow date February 23, 2006) at the SCRCOG office located at 127 Washington Avenue – 4th floor west, North Haven, Connecticut from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  ConnDOT staff will be available to answer any questions on PM2.5 and the associated Air Quality Conformity Determination document.

Parking and handicapped access to the meeting room is available from the main entrance of the building. Any persons wishing to attend this meeting requiring an interpreter should contact SWPRA at (203) 316-5190 or SCRCOG at (203) 234-7555.

All written comments and associated documentation must be clearly legible and submitted on reproducible 8½ x 11-inch paper.  Comments must be received on or before March 3, 2006.

Comments should be addressed to:

     Mr. Gerald Jennings

     Transportation Assistant Planning Director

     Bureau of Policy and Planning

     Connecticut Department of Transportation

     P.O. Box 317546

     Newington, Connecticut 06131-7546