(1) No department, agency, or instrumentality of the Federal Government shall engage in, support in any way or provide financial assistance for, license or permit, or approve, any activity which does not conform to an implementation plan after it has been approved or promulgated under section 7410 of this title. No metropolitan planning organization designated under section 134 of title 23, shall give its approval to any project, program, or plan which does not conform to an implementation plan approved or promulgated under section 7410 of this title. The assurance of conformity to such an implementation plan shall be an affirmative responsibility of the head of such department, agency, or instrumentality. Conformity to an implementation plan means—
(A) conformity to an implementation plan's purpose of eliminating or reducing the severity and number of violations of the national ambient air quality standards and achieving expeditious attainment of such standards; and
(B) that such activities will not—
(i) cause or contribute to any new violation of any standard in any area;
(ii) increase the frequency or severity of any existing violation of any standard in any area; or
(iii) delay timely attainment of any standard or any required interim emission reductions or other milestones in any area.
The determination of conformity shall be based on the most recent estimates of emissions, and such estimates shall be determined from the most recent population, employment, travel and congestion estimates as determined by the metropolitan planning organization or other agency authorized to make such estimates.
(2) Any transportation plan or program developed pursuant to title 23 or chapter 53 of title 49 shall implement the transportation provisions of any applicable implementation plan approved under this chapter applicable to all or part of the area covered by such transportation plan or program. No Federal agency may approve, accept or fund any transportation plan, program or project unless such plan, program or project has been found to conform to any applicable implementation plan in effect under this chapter. In particular—
(A) no transportation plan or transportation improvement program may be adopted by a metropolitan planning organization designated under title 23 or chapter 53 of title 49, or be found to be in conformity by a metropolitan planning organization until a final determination has been made that emissions expected from implementation of such plans and programs are consistent with estimates of emissions from motor vehicles and necessary emissions reductions contained in the applicable implementation plan, and that the plan or program will conform to the requirements of paragraph (1)(B);
(B) no metropolitan planning organization or other recipient of funds under title 23 or chapter 53 of title 49 shall adopt or approve a transportation improvement program of projects until it determines that such program provides for timely implementation of transportation control measures consistent with schedules included in the applicable implementation plan;
(C) a transportation project may be adopted or approved by a metropolitan planning organization or any recipient of funds designated under title 23 or chapter 53 of title 49, or found in conformity by a metropolitan planning organization or approved, accepted, or funded by the Department of Transportation only if it meets either the requirements of subparagraph (D) or the following requirements—
(i) such a project comes from a conforming plan and program;
(ii) the design concept and scope of such project have not changed significantly since the conformity finding regarding the plan and program from which the project derived; and
(iii) the design concept and scope of such project at the time of the conformity determination for the program was adequate to determine emissions.
(D) Any project not referred to in subparagraph (C) shall be treated as conforming to the applicable implementation plan only if it is demonstrated that the projected emissions from such project, when considered together with emissions projected for the conforming transportation plans and programs within the nonattainment area, do not cause such plans and programs to exceed the emission reduction projections and schedules assigned to such plans and programs in the applicable implementation plan.
(E) The appropriate metropolitan planning organization shall redetermine conformity of existing transportation plans and programs not later than 2 years after the date on which the Administrator—
(i) finds a motor vehicle emissions budget to be adequate in accordance with section 93.118(e)(4) of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on October 1, 2004);
(ii) approves an implementation plan that establishes a motor vehicle emissions budget if that budget has not yet been determined to be adequate in accordance with clause (i); or
(iii) promulgates an implementation plan that establishes or revises a motor vehicle emissions budget.
(3) Until such time as the implementation plan revision referred to in paragraph (4)(C) 1 is approved, conformity of such plans, programs, and projects will be demonstrated if—
(A) the transportation plans and programs—
(i) are consistent with the most recent estimates of mobile source emissions;
(ii) provide for the expeditious implementation of transportation control measures in the applicable implementation plan; and
(iii) with respect to ozone and carbon monoxide nonattainment areas, contribute to annual emissions reductions consistent with sections 7511a(b)(1) and 7512a(a)(7) of this title; and
(B) the transportation projects—
(i) come from a conforming transportation plan and program as defined in subparagraph (A) or for 12 months after November 15, 1990, from a transportation program found to conform within 3 years prior to November 15, 1990; and
(ii) in carbon monoxide nonattainment areas, eliminate or reduce the severity and number of violations of the carbon monoxide standards in the area substantially affected by the project.
With regard to subparagraph (B)(ii), such determination may be made as part of either the conformity determination for the transportation program or for the individual project taken as a whole during the environmental review phase of project development.
(D) The procedures and criteria shall, at a minimum—
(i) address the consultation procedures to be undertaken by metropolitan planning organizations and the Secretary of Transportation with State and local air quality agencies and State departments of transportation before such organizations and the Secretary make conformity determinations;
(ii) address the appropriate frequency for making conformity determinations, but the frequency for making conformity determinations on updated transportation plans and programs shall be every 4 years, except in a case in which—
(I) the metropolitan planning organization elects to update a transportation plan or program more frequently; or
(II) the metropolitan planning organization is required to determine conformity in accordance with paragraph (2)(E); and
(iii) address how conformity determinations will be made with respect to maintenance plans.
(F) Compliance with the rules of the Administrator for determining the conformity of transportation plans, programs, and projects funded or approved under title 23 or chapter 53 of title 49 to State or Federal implementation plans shall not be required for traffic signal synchronization projects prior to the funding, approval or implementation of such projects. The supporting regional emissions analysis for any conformity determination made with respect to a transportation plan, program, or project shall consider the effect on emissions of any such project funded, approved, or implemented prior to the conformity determination.
(A) a nonattainment area and each pollutant for which the area is designated as a nonattainment area; and
(B) an area that was designated as a nonattainment area but that was later redesignated by the Administrator as an attainment area and that is required to develop a maintenance plan under section 7505a of this title with respect to the specific pollutant for which the area was designated nonattainment.
(6) Notwithstanding paragraph 5,2 this subsection shall not apply with respect to an area designated nonattainment under section 7407(d)(1) of this title until 1 year after that area is first designated nonattainment for a specific national ambient air quality standard. This paragraph only applies with respect to the national ambient air quality standard for which an area is newly designated nonattainment and does not affect the area's requirements with respect to all other national ambient air quality standards for which the area is designated nonattainment or has been redesignated from nonattainment to attainment with a maintenance plan pursuant to section 7505a 1 of this title (including any pre-existing national ambient air quality standard for a pollutant for which a new or revised standard has been issued).
(i) The first 10-year period of any such transportation plan.
(ii) The latest year in the implementation plan applicable to the area that contains a motor vehicle emission budget.
(iii) The year after the completion date of a regionally significant project if the project is included in the transportation improvement program or the project requires approval before the subsequent conformity determination.
(i) if the substitute measures achieve equivalent or greater emissions reductions than the control measure to be replaced, as demonstrated with an emissions impact analysis that is consistent with the current methodology used for evaluating the replaced control measure in the implementation plan;
(ii) if the substitute control measures are implemented—
(I) in accordance with a schedule that is consistent with the schedule provided for control measures in the implementation plan; or
(II) if the implementation plan date for implementation of the control measure to be replaced has passed, as soon as practicable after the implementation plan date but not later than the date on which emission reductions are necessary to achieve the purpose of the implementation plan;
(iii) if the substitute and additional control measures are accompanied with evidence of adequate personnel and funding and authority under State or local law to implement, monitor, and enforce the control measures;
(iv) if the substitute and additional control measures were developed through a collaborative process that included—
(I) participation by representatives of all affected jurisdictions (including local air pollution control agencies, the State air pollution control agency, and State and local transportation agencies);
(II) consultation with the Administrator; and
(III) reasonable public notice and opportunity for comment; and
(v) if the metropolitan planning organization, State air pollution control agency, and the Administrator concur with the equivalency of the substitute or additional control measures.
(ii) Once adopted, the substitute or additional control measures become, by operation of law, part of the State implementation plan and become federally enforceable.
(iii) Within 90 days of its concurrence under subparagraph (A)(v), the State air pollution control agency shall submit the substitute or additional control measure to the Administrator for incorporation in the codification of the applicable implementation plan. Nothwithstanding 3 any other provision of this chapter, no additional State process shall be necessary to support such revision to the applicable plan.
(i) a new conformity determination for the transportation plan; or
(ii) a revision of the implementation plan.
Each department, agency, or instrumentality of the Federal Government having authority to conduct or support any program with air-quality related transportation consequences shall give priority in the exercise of such authority, consistent with statutory requirements for allocation among States or other jurisdictions, to the implementation of those portions of plans prepared under this section to achieve and maintain the national primary ambient air-quality standard. This paragraph extends to, but is not limited to, authority exercised under chapter 53 of title 49, title 23, and the Housing and Urban Development Act.
(July 14, 1955, ch. 360, title I, §176, as added Pub. L. 95–95, title I, §129(b), Aug. 7, 1977, 91 Stat. 749; amended Pub. L. 95–190, §14(a)(59), Nov. 16, 1977, 91 Stat. 1403; Pub. L. 101–549, title I, §§101(f), 110(4), Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2409, 2470; Pub. L. 104–59, title III, §305(b), Nov. 28, 1995, 109 Stat. 580; Pub. L. 104–260, §1, Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3175; Pub. L. 106–377, §1(a)(1) [title III], Oct. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 1441, 1441A–44; Pub. L. 109–59, title VI, §6011(a)–(f), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1878–1881.)
Paragraph (4) of subsec. (c), referred to in subsec. (c)(3), was amended by Pub. L. 109–59, title VI, §6011(f), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1881, to redesignate subpar. (C) as (E), strike it out, and add new subpars. (C) and (E). See 2005 Amendment notes below.
Section 7505a of this title, referred to in subsec. (c)(6), was in the original “section 175(A)” and was translated as reading “section 175A”, meaning section 175A of act July 14, 1955, which is classified to section 7505a of this title, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
The Housing and Urban Development Act, referred to in subsec. (d), may be the name for a series of acts sharing the same name but enacted in different years by Pub. L. 89–117, Aug. 10, 1965, 79 Stat. 451; Pub. L. 90–448, Aug. 1, 1968, 82 Stat. 476; Pub. L. 91–152, Dec. 24, 1969, 83 Stat. 379; and Pub. L. 91–609, Dec. 31, 1970, 84 Stat. 1770, respectively. For complete classification of these Acts to the Code, see Short Title notes set out under section 1701 of Title 12, Banks and Banking, and Tables.
In subsecs. (c)(2) and (d), “chapter 53 of title 49” substituted for “the Urban Mass Transportation Act [49 App. U.S.C. 1601 et seq.]” and in subsec. (c)(4)(F) substituted for “Federal Transit Act” on authority of Pub. L. 103–272, §6(b), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1378 (the first section of which enacted subtitles II, III, and V to X of Title 49, Transportation), and of Pub. L. 102–240, title III, §3003(b), Dec. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 2088, which provided that references in laws to the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 be deemed to be references to the Federal Transit Act.
2005—Subsec. (c)(2)(E). Pub. L. 109–59, §6011(a), added subpar. (E).
Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 109–59, §6011(f)(1)–(3), inserted par. (4) and subpar. (A) headings, in first sentence substituted “The Administrator shall promulgate, and periodically update,” for “No later than one year after November 15, 1990, the Administrator shall promulgate”, designated second sentence as subpar. (B), inserted heading, substituted “The Administrator, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Transportation, shall promulgate, and periodically update,” for “No later than one year after November 15, 1990, the Administrator, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Transportation, shall promulgate”, designated third sentence as subpar. (C), inserted heading, substituted “A civil action” for “A suit”, and redesignated former subpars. (B) to (D) as (D) to (F), respectively.
Subsec. (c)(4)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 109–59, §6011(b), amended cl. (ii) generally. Prior to amendment, cl. (ii) read as follows: “address the appropriate frequency for making conformity determinations, but in no case shall such determinations for transportation plans and programs be less frequent than every three years; and”.
Subsec. (c)(4)(E). Pub. L. 109–59, §6011(f)(4), added subpar. (E) and struck out former subpar. (E) which read as follows: “Such procedures shall also include a requirement that each State shall submit to the Administrator and the Secretary of Transportation within 24 months of November 15, 1990, a revision to its implementation plan that includes criteria and procedures for assessing the conformity of any plan, program, or project subject to the conformity requirements of this subsection.”
Subsec. (c)(7) to (10). Pub. L. 109–59, §6011(c)–(e), added pars. (7) to (10).
2000—Subsec. (c)(6). Pub. L. 106–377 added par. (6).
1996—Subsec. (c)(4)(D). Pub. L. 104–260 added subpar. (D).
1995—Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 104–59 added par. (5).
1990—Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 101–549, §110(4), struck out subsec. (a) which related to approval of projects or award of grants, and subsec. (b) which related to implementation of approved or promulgated plans.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–549, §101(f), designated existing provisions as par. (1), struck out “(1)”, “(2)”, “(3)”, and “(4)” before “engage in”, “support in”, “license or”, and “approve, any”, respectively, substituted “conform to an implementation plan after it” for “conform to a plan after it”, “conform to an implementation plan approved” for “conform to a plan approved”, and “conformity to such an implementation plan shall” for “conformity to such a plan shall”, inserted “Conformity to an implementation plan means—” followed immediately by subpars. (A) and (B) and closing provisions relating to determination of conformity being based on recent estimates of emissions and the determination of such estimates, and added pars. (2) to (4).
1977—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 95–190 inserted “national” before “primary”.
Pub. L. 109–59, title VI, §6011(g), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1882, provided that: “Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 2005], the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall promulgate revised regulations to implement the changes made by this section [amending this section].”
1 See References in Text note below.
2 So in original. Probably should be “paragraph (5),”.
3 So in original. Probably should be “Notwithstanding”.