The new final Transportation Conformity Determination Report (TCDR) associated with the development of the BCATS 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is available to view below:
The Report is now an official part of the FY 2023-2026 TIP, which is pending state and federal approval before implementation on October 1, 2022. Questions about the Report can be directed to BCATS at email@example.com.
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA) established the mandate for better coordination between air quality and transportation planning. The CAAA requires that all transportation plans and transportation investments in non-attainment and maintenance areas be subject to an air quality conformity determination. The purpose of such a determination is to demonstrate that the Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) conform to the intent and purpose of the State Implementation Plan (SIP). The intent of the SIP is to achieve and maintain clean air and meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Therefore, for non-attainment and maintenance areas, the Transportation Plan and the TIP must demonstrate that the implementation of these projects do not result in greater mobile source emissions than the emissions budget.
On February 16, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in South Coast Air Quality Management District v. EPA ("South Coast II," 882 F.3d1138) held that transportation conformity determinations must be made in areas that were either nonattainment or maintenance for the 1997 ozone NAAQS and attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS when the 1997 ozone NAAQS was revoked. These conformity determinations were required in these areas after February 16, 2019. The Kalamazoo/Battle Creek air quality area (Kalamazoo, Calhoun and Van Buren counties) was in maintenance at the time of the 1997 ozone NAAQS revocation on April 6, 2015 and was also designed attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS on May 21, 2012. It was also designated attainment for the 2015 ozone NAAQS on August 3, 2018. Therefore, per the South Coast II decision, a conformity determination must be made for the 1997 ozone NAAQS on the long range plans and Transportation Improvement Programs of the planning areas in the three counties, including BCATS.
As part of the process of updating the BCATS long range plan to 2045, a new Transportation Conformity Determination Report (TCDR) was conducted to comply with the EPA order noted above. The updated TCDR for the 1997 Ozone NAAQS was open for comment during the same comment period as for the draft 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan. The report was approved by BCATS' Policy Committee on February 23, 2022, and was forwarded to State and Federal officials for their review and approval. An approval letter for this TCDR was received from the USDOT on June 15, 2022. See the link below for the Report:
Information regarding Air Quality status and efforts in the Battle Creek area will be
updated periodically as conditions warrant.