The Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) is updated every three years. The SACOG Board adopted the most recent MTP on July 18, 2002.
The Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP) is updated every two years. The SACOG Board adopted the most recent MTIP on July 18, 2002.
The State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the Sacramento federal ozone nonattainment area was last updated in 1994. The Sacramento region is currently discussing the need for an update to the 1994 SIP due to conformity implications. The Sacramento region faces a conformity "lockdown" after December 31, 2002. A conformity "lockdown" is a term coined by SACOG staff and means that we will be unable to make any changes, additions, or deletions to non-exempt projects in either the MTP or MTIP until a new SIP is approved by the EPA with new conformity budgets. If a new SIP is not approved by July 2005, the SACOG region will lapse conformity until a new SIP is approved and we can make a positive conformity determination.
Coordinating SIP updates and the conformity process has been difficult at times. This is because the Sacramento federal ozone nonattainment area covers five air districts, each with its own Board of Directors. It is sometimes difficult to get all five air districts together to discuss issues of mutual interest. There is a real concern by some air districts that they do not want conformity to drive their air quality programs (i.e., a SIP update).
In California we use an emissions model called EMFAC, but the same issues that you raise about MOBILE5 versus MOBILE 6 apply to EMFAC7F/7G versus EMFAC 2001. The difference between EMFAC7F, which was used to prepare Sacramento's 1994 SIP, and the new EMFAC2001 emissions model is dramatic. If the Sacramento region were required to use EMFAC2001 when preparing conformity determinations the region would fail. This is because EMFAC 2001 is projecting far greater on-road mobile source emissions than EMFAC7F did for the 1994 SIP and out years.
The region is currently discussing the need for a new SIP that would incorporate the use of EMFAC 2001. It has not been decided if the region will update its SIP before 2005, which is when the current plan projects that the Sacramento region will attain the federal 1-hour ozone standard. There is considerable discussion occurring over whether the region will attain the standard in 2005 and whether the region should be embarking on a new SIP. We are anticipating that the requirement to use the EMFAC 2001, or its successor, will occur before our mandated attainment date of 2005. We anticipate that the 2-year grace period on EMFAC 2001 will start sometime early next year (Feb/March 2003). This would mean that all nonattainemnt areas in California will have to use EMFAC 2001 to prepare conformity determinations once the two-year grace period is up (Feb/Mar 2005). Unless the Sacramento region has a new SIP in place at that time, we will be unable to make a positive conformity determination and the region will go into a conformity lapse for an unknown period of time.
It is unknown whether or not the new 8-hour NAAQS will lead to an increase or decrease in our vehicle emissions budget. Our best guess would be that it would lead to higher budgets initially (i.e., 2005). It is also unclear whether or not the SACOG region would be able to pass future conformity tests with these new budgets.
The SACOG region is currently implementing the Sacramento Emergency
Clean Air and Transportation (SECAT) program. The SECAT program was created as a way to help truck owners and fleet operators reduce their vehicles' emissions in a business-friendly manner. There are two options available to truck owners: diesel engine retrofits or replacement of their older truck with a cleaner-burning newer truck.
The goal of the SECAT program is to reduce NOx emissions from heavy-duty vehicles by two tons per day by 2002 and a total of three tons per day by 2005 within the Sacramento federal 1-hour ozone nonattainment area. The current program is funded with $70 million in state and local funds. If this program were to be continued after the monies are expended, additional NOx emissions reductions could be achieved. We do not believe it would be sufficient to make up the projected increase in on-road emissions associated with EMFAC 2001.
Role of Transportation Control Measures (TCMs)
TCMs do not play a big role in helping the Sacramento region achieve attainment of the ozone standard. The 1994 SIP calls for reductions of
26 tons per day of NOX and 35 tons per day of ROG emissions from proposed new measures. The 1994 SIP shows a 1-ton reduction in both ROG and NOX from "TCMs/Land Use" measures. These measures have never been defined. This 1 ton represents approximately 4% of the NOx reductions needed and approximately 3% of the ROG reductions needed to achieve attainment.
The SACOG region does not take any credit for CMAQ projects in its conformity determinations. This is because CMAQ projects are difficult to quantify.
The SACOG region has not experienced a conformity lapse within the last couple of years. The SACOG region, however, intentionally let conformity lapse several years ago because the schedule for updating the MTP and conformity didn't mesh and the SACOG Board of Directors did not want to accelerate the MTP development for conformity reasons. The
SACOG region lapsed for several months and it had no impact on project deliveries.
The SACOG region is facing a lapse in October 2004 that could last quite a while, depending on when a new SIP is approved. As indicate above, the SACOG region is currently discussing the need for a new SIP and, depending on the outcome of those discussions, the region could face a conformity lapse that could last anywhere from several months to several years.
The March 1999 U.S. Court of appeals decision had no effect on SACOG's transportation investments.
The conformity analysis has not helped the motor vehicle emissions inventory for SIPs because there has not been a SIP update since 1994.
The motor vehicle emissions inventory is prepared by ARB. We have not done a systematic analysis of changes in each update of the inventory.
Yes it has. The transportation demand models have met or exceeded the guidelines in the CAAA and include full feedback from traffic assignments to trip generation and all travel modes including walking and bicycling.
The travel model has been updated several times since 1994. The base year of the model has changed from 1990 to 1994 to 1997 to 2000. Each update has shown at least the same and generally better validation of the models traffic assignment to actual traffic counts. We have a database of 2000+ traffic counts for each calibration year.
If you define "induced traffic" as the traveler's response to changes in congestion, the model we use has accessibility measures in auto ownership, trip generation, trip distribution, and mode choice steps.
The inclusion of the accessibility measures means that as congestion increases over time, or given higher congestion levels in one area of the model area versus another, auto travel (both trip and VMT) are reduced. The amount of reduction is generally small, but measurable in the order of a few percentage points.