More relief for New York City

News AASHTO Journal September 25, 2002
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The U.S. Senate recently passed a bill granting the New York City area a temporary waiver from federal transportation conformity requirements.

The exemption was made because area planners voiced concerns that they would not be able to meet the requirements because of last year's terrorist attack. The exemption would apply to certain transportation conformity requirements and metropolitan transportation planning requirements under the clean air act for areas in New York where the attack destroyed planning offices and resources.

In order to ensure federal funded highway and transit projects maintain efforts to meet the ambient air standards, New York City, which is considered a nonattainment area, is required to submit a "conformity analysis" to the Environmental Protection Agency every three years. The report is required under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, due Oct. 1. If the reports are not filed, a provision of the Clean Air Act cuts federal funding for transportation-related projects.

Due to the fact that the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Council's offices were destroyed in the terrorist attacks, they were not able to meet the deadline because of the agency's loss of records. In addition, it is reported that the collapse of the World Trade Center altered patterns of lower Manhattan, which is requiring the collection of new information.

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