Federal and state regulations require that the region assess the air quality consequences of proposed transportation improvements.
Federal and state regulations require that the region assess the air quality consequences of proposed transportation improvements. Current laws mean that the region must assess the carbon monoxide emissions from surface transportation sources to meet the Clean Air Act.
Metro has prepared an air quality conformity determination for the federal component of the 2035 RTP and 2010-13 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program as required by state and federal law. The document shows that the metro area, including the 25 cities and the urban portions of three counties of the greater metropolitan region, will continue to meet federal and state air-quality standards to the year 2035.
The factors addressed in the Air Quality Conformity Determination are used to estimate future carbon monoxide emissions from cars and trucks operating within the greater Portland air shed to the year 2035. The estimated emissions must not exceed the "budget" established for mobile sources by plans approved for the region by the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
There are other pollutants that Metro has voluntarily agreed with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to assess as Metro completes its regional transportation plans. These voluntarily reported pollutants include:
Ozone - sometimes known as smog and which includes Volatile Organic Compounds and Oxides of Nitrogen which, when atmospheric conditions are right, combine in the atmosphere to create ozone.
Air toxics - these include acetaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, 1,3 butadiene, formaldehyde and particulates, or very small particles, from on-road diesel engines.
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