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Draft General Conformity Determination

Pursuant to the Clean Air Act Section 176(c) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s implementing regulations (40 C.F.R Part 93, subpart B), FRA is also publishing a Draft Conformity Determination for public review and comment. The intent of the Clean Air Act’s General Conformity requirement is to prevent the air quality impacts of a proposed federal project from causing or contributing to new violations of the air quality standards, exacerbate existing violations, or interfering with the purpose of the applicable implementation plan.

This draft general conformity determination documents FRA’s finding that the Merced to Fresno Project complies with the General Conformity rule and that it conforms to the purposes of the area’s approved State Implementation Plan and is consistent with all applicable requirements. The conformity determination was made based on the project design feature and mitigation measures that were described in the Final EIR/EIS. Conformity is demonstrated herein as follows:

  • The operation of the Project would result in a reduction of regional emissions of all applicable air pollutants and would not cause a localized exceedance of an air quality standard; and
  • While emissions generated during the construction of the Project would exceed General Conformity thresholds for two pollutants, these emission increases would be off-set through a Voluntary Emission Reduction Agreement (VERA) with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD).

Public comments on the Draft General Conformity Determination should be provided to FRA by May 29, 2012. Public comments may be submitted to:

Mr. David Valenstein, Chief
Environment and Systems Planning Division
Office of Railroad Policy and Development
Federal Railroad Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., MS–20
Washington, DC 20590

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