Counties in the CAMPO planning area are currently in attainment of all the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Historically, the region has experienced periodic exceedances of the NAAQS for ground-level ozone and has taken proactive measures to remain in attainment.
CAMPO is a primary partner in the ongoing regional initiative that has produced a series of voluntary emission reduction plans (in collaboration with EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) designed to maintain compliance with the ozone NAAQS. The fourth such plan, the Ozone Advance Program Action Plan, is in force from January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2018. It focuses on compliance with the 2008 ozone NAAQS, while preparing for the likelihood that EPA will set a more stringent ozone NAAQS before the Ozone Advance Plan expires.
Motor vehicle emissions are a significant contributor to the region’s ground-level zone problem.
CAMPO works both to minimize and to quantify vehicle emissions by:
- Modeling regional vehicle emissions with EPA’s MOVES model;
- Tracking and reporting each member jurisdiction’s Transportation Emission Reduction Measures (TERMS), such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, transit improvements, traffic signal synchronization, or any other transportation project that reduces congestion, idling or single-occupant-vehicle travel;
- Hosting the region’s Commute Solutions Coalition and the one-stop-shop commuter website Commute Solutions, as well as the regional rideshare/trip-planning-site myCommuteSolutions; and
- Providing air quality public outreach and education through the Ozone Action Heroes website and activities.
The CAMPO long range transportation plan must include a discussion of potential environmental mitigation activities and identify potential areas to carry out these activities. To identify these activities and develop the appropriate analysis tools, CAMPO consulted with federal, state, regional, and local agencies that are familiar with the environmental needs of the region. Because of this regional coordination, the plan can serve as an initial point of reference during planning process to identify potential conflicts between environmental resources and current or future transportation facilities.
CAMPO uses the following environmental analysis tools:
- The Geographical Information System Screening Tool (GISST) contains a set of data that was developed by the EPA that weights and scores various environmental features. CAMPO applies the scores to the transportation network, along with other data, such as historical sites and vacant land inventories. The combined data set, called the Environmental Sensitivity Analysis, can be used to identify areas of concern when locating transportation projects or identifying areas for locating mitigation activities.
- NEPAssist is an easy-to-use web-based application that draws data dynamically from EPA’s Geographic Information System (GIS) databases and provides baseline information for projects.
- CAMPO works with regional partners to identify local conservation plans and programs, such as the Williamson County Regional Habitat Conservation Plan and the Greenprints for Travis, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell counties.
- CAMPO developed maps for aquifers and FEMA Flood Plains, which were identified as important areas for the region to consider in the environmental analysis.