The Air Quality Technical Planning and Analysis Program Area provides technical air quality planning and support to the Regional Transportation Council (RTC). The RTC is the policy body for the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area. The RTC consists predominantly of local elected officials, overseeing regional transportation planning. Decisions made during the air quality planning process can impact our future transportation system in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
The Air Quality Technical Planning and Analysis Program Area is mainly responsible for air quality planning of transportation conformity, detailed forecast emission inventories for inclusion into the State Implementation Plan (SIP), and technical air quality analyses to support emission reductions within the region. The Air Quality Technical Planning and Analysis Program Area is also responsible for estimating Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSATs) emissions for all Dallas-Fort Worth transportation projects undergoing environmental reviews.
Transportation conformity is a quantitative assessment of future transportation projects, programs, and policies within the nine-county nonattainment area of Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, and Tarrant Counties for the pollutant ozone. Transportation conformity ensures federal funding and approval goes to those transportation activities that are consistent with regional air quality planning goals and objectives for attainment, as identified in the applicable SIP. Transportation conformity is required every three years, at a minimum, to meet federal requirements. Transportation conformity analyses and emission results are made available to the public during public meetings through the RTC public meeting planning process.
All transportation projects and programs included in the SIP, either as Transportation Control Measure (TCMs) or Voluntary Mobile Source Emission Reduction programs (VMEPs), are maintained in the Transportation Department’s MoSERS database. Transportation conformity also requires demonstrating that these projects are subject to timely implementation and realization of specific air quality emission reduction benefits, and thereby requiring consistent quantification and strict project tracking. Transportation projects that are funded through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program are monitored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) through a CMAQ Annual Report. The Air Quality Technical Planning and Analysis Program Area works annually with the Texas Department of Transportation’s regional staff to produce the report identifying the appropriateness of projects in FHWA’s database and allocating estimated emission reductions.
Forecasting emission inventories is a key component for inclusion into the SIP. On-road mobile (registered vehicles) and transit vehicle emission inventories are conducted and included into the SIP, which impacts the future transportation system through planning. These on-road emission inventories are also applied towards the development of motor vehicle emission budgets or “budgets” for transportation conformity purposes. Working with federal, State, and local transportation and air quality agencies is important to ensure the most recent information is included in each analyses.
Technical planning through detailed air quality studies and analyses is critical to identifying new emission reduction strategies to improve air quality and our quality of life in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. These technical analyses help develop project and program benefit cost ratios (the amount of emission reduction to cost) to select more effective projects and programs to reduce emissions.
Chris Klaus, Senior Program Manager
Jenny Narvaez, Principal Air Quality Planner
Jody Loza, Senior Air Quality Planner
Vivek Thimmavajjhala, Transportation System Modeler
Cecilia Howard, Senior Administrative Assistant