Clean Air Act
The Clean Air Act, last amended in 1990, requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (40 CFR part 50) for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. The Clean Air Act identifies two types of national ambient air quality standards:
- Primary standards provide public health protection, including protecting the health of “sensitive” populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly.
- Secondary standards provide public welfare protection, including protection against decreased visibility and damage to animals, crops, vegetation, and buildings.
The EPA has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six principal pollutants, called “criteria” air pollutants, which include:
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Lead (Pb)
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
- Ozone (O3)
- Particle Pollution (PM)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
- parts per million (ppm) by volume,
- parts per billion (ppb) by volume, and
- micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3)
The NFRMPO is a maintenance area for Carbon Monoxide (CO) through 2019 for the City of Greeley and through 2023 for the City of Fort Collins. The NFRMPO is part of a nonattainment area for Ozone (O3) for 75 ppb and did not attain the standard by July 2015. All transportation improvements must meet conformity with the adopted State Implementation Plan (SIP) and the Motor Vehicle Emissions Budget (MVEB). The Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) has recommended a new SIP for 75 ppb, which is anticipated for EPA approval in May 2017.
On October 1, 2015, the EPA adopted a new standard for ground level Ozone (O3) of 70 ppb with an effective data of December 28, 2015. The new standard will require the development of a new SIP and MVEB.
Infrastructure & Investment Jobs Acts (IIJA)/Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. IIJA provides $550 billion over fiscal years 2022 through 2026 in new Federal investment in infrastructure, including in roads, bridges, transit, water infrastructure, resilience, and broadband.
IIJA is a large infrastructure investment program that:
- Prioritizes multimodal transportation investments.
- Addresses safety as a priority.
- Identifies climate and reslience as priorities.
The IIJA creates and expands programs to invest in the nation’s multimodal transportation system. Local governments and other entities have more programs to address local needs. Approximately $550B in new investment is included in the legislation.
Programs like Safe Streets and Roads for All prioritize planning and projects to address safety concerns on our transposrtation system for all users.
New programs like the Carbon Reduction Program and PROTECT Formula Program specifically allocate funding toward projects that reduce greenhouse gases and resiliency projects.