EMERGING AIR QUALITY ISSUES Bob O’Loughlin FHWA Environmental Conference Alexandria, VA
Emerging Issues • Global Climate Change/Greenhouse Gases • Active Living/Obesity/Built Environment • Mobile Source Air Toxics/Fine Particulates
Why “Emerging”? • Most information at the regional, state, national level. • Primarily addressed as a research agenda. • High level of uncertainty, insufficient research, lack of analytical/monitoring tools and methods.
Why Are These Issues Being Raised? • Greenhouse Gases: % of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (2000) from transportation = 27%. Second only to electricity generation. • Active Living: 65% of adult population is overweight, almost one in three is obese. 15% of children and teens ages 6-19 are overweight.
Why Are These Issues Being Raised? • MSATs: from transportation sources, 100 million people live in areas where the cancer risk exceeds 10 in a million (EPA NATA, 1999. 1996 data). • Public may view these as very significant issues that need immediate attention.
What Is Being Done? • 25 states plus Puerto Rico have initiated GHG plans; 134 cities and counties are participating in initiatives to reduce local GHG emissions (9/2003). • Since 1992, Federal spending on bicycle and pedestrian projects has been 20 times the level prior to 1992. This investment has doubled the number of walking and biking trips, and reduced injuries and fatalities by 10%.
What Is Being Done? • Between 1990 and 2020, on-road controls will reduce MSATs by 67-76%, PM by 90% (EPA Final Rule on MSATs).
Emerging Issues in NEPA • Disclose available information. • Document incomplete or unavailable information (Sec. 1502.22). • Utilize FHWA website for applicable information, guidance, other links.
Emerging Issues in NEPA • Assistance from HQs and Resource Center staff. • Public and decision-maker information and education. • Mitigation strategies.
Some Websites • http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/airtoxic/index.htm • http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/global.htm • http://staffnet.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/staffepn/hepn50progs.htm