The Final General Conformity Determination was developed after extensive consultation with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), the Authority, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The analysis found that the Project's potential emissions during the Project construction period would exceed the General Conformityde minimisthreshold for two precursor criteria pollutants, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), a precursor for ozone. However, operation of the Project (i.e.,operation of the high-speed train, once the infrastructure was constructed) would result in an overall reduction of regional emissions of all applicable air pollutants and would not cause a localized exceedence of an air quality standard. Since the Project will result in the exceedence of thede minimusthresholds for the precursor criteria pollutants listed above during the construction phase, Project conformity with the applicable emission standards will be accomplished through a combination of efforts to use cleaner-than-average construction equipment and a Voluntary Emissions Reduction Agreement (VERA) between the Authority and the SJVAPCD. The VERA will offset the NOx and VOC emissions, consistent with applicable regulatory requirements, by funding (by the Project) local emissions reductions projects such as replacement and/or retrofit of existing diesel agricultural pumps, farm tractors, heavy trucks, etc. The Final General Conformity Determination is available for public review on FRA's Web site athttp://www.fra.dot.gov/rpd/freight/fp_California_HST_%20Merced_to_Fresno.shtml.
Issued in Washington, DC, on October 15, 2012.
Karen J. Hedlund,