Investigators from STI and UC Davis, together with participants from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and Caltrans, created a new protocol to analyze near-road PM10 impacts and determine whether individual transportation projects create a PM10 hot-spot problem. The protocol helps screen out projects unlikely to contribute to exceedances of the PM10 air quality standards. Additionally, the protocol allows users to compare a proposed project to pre-existing facilities, use near-road PM10 concentration measurements as a screening tool, and complete “relocate and reduce, build vs. no-build” assessments to determine whether a project will spatially reallocate traffic to reduce hot-spot problems. The study results:
  • Established analysis principles to help agencies assess near-road pollution
  • Helped planners meet conformity regulations while U.S. EPA created modeling guidance
  • Built a multi-agency consensus over technical methods to assess near-road conditions