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A-1 APPENDIX A. MARKET RESEARCH Through widely distributed questionnaire, literature review, and personal interviews; the market research attempted to gather information about customers and the market. Customers are the future user communities for the multimodal noise and emissions model, including consultants involved in transportation planning, state and federal agencies that provide the oversight for these modes, and office staff of regional transportation administrations that organize/fund specific projects. Section A.1 summarizes what was learned from the customer base. The market consists of the current and future multimodal and intermodal projects that would benefit from the use of this model. Section A.2 describes what was learned about recent and ongoing multimodal projects. Section A.3 discusses what the market research finding implies for the MDP. It was vital to seek input from a broad cross-section of the transportation and environmental communities. Questionnaire was chosen as the device to obtain the needed input. Because of the subject matter, the questionnaire contained open-ended questions that required substantive effort of the respondents. A sample questionnaire is presented in Appendix E. The questionnaire also included two fairly detailed exhibits on the initial thoughts concerning the end state and build sequence for the model. The questionnaire elicited some excellent responses including ideas for the desired model end state. The problem is that there were very few responses. The complexity of the questionnaire contributed to the lack of response. The problem is described in Section A.1 and the implication is addressed in Section A.3. A.1. Potential Utility of a Multimodal Noise and Emissions Model Appendix E contains a copy of the questionnaire that was used to solicit responses from broad cross-section of stakeholders and experts on the need and utility of a multimodal noise and emissions model. Viewpoints were sought using questions, such as: â Who would use a multimodal noise and emissions model? â At what stage of the environmental/design process would it be used? â What are the requirements of a multimodal noise and emissions model? â How would it be used? â What output is desired? â What value would the model bring to a transportation project? The questionnaire also sought reactions to the initial concepts for the end state and model build sequence that had been developed by the project team. The questionnaire was distributed to various transportation technical committees, Federal agency environmental program offices, Federal interagency groups, and model design review groups involved in transportation-related environmental assessments. The distribution list included: â Analytical Tools Initiative Standing Committee of the Environmental Working Group under the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO); â FAA Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) Design Review Group (DRG); â Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise (FICAN); â TRB ADC20 Committee, Transportation and Air Quality; â TRB ADC40 Committee, Transportation-Related Noise and Vibrations; and â TRB AV030 Committee, Environmental Impacts on Aviation.
A-2 The questionnaire was distributed to subscribers of the Wyle Email Web Forums and its availability was announced in two newsletters, Airport Noise Report (Vol. 20, No. 29) and Aviation Emissions Report (Vol. 1, No. 6). After receiving few responses, a second solicitation went to the groups identified above and to subscribers of the Wyle Email Web Forums in the hopes of promoting more responses. The solicitation was expanded to specific airports. The airports targeted in this solicitation were those contained in the Metropolitan Areas Solution Set of the FAA Implementation Plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). This solution set is predicated on meeting the demand for air transportation in these areas through continued emphasis on airport expansion along with innovative approaches to regional planning and multimodal systems. The NextGen Metropolitan Areas Solution Set covers 15 metropolitan areas and 82 civil airports. The questionnaire was sent to the 45 airports on the list with environmental points of contacts. Information on the FAA NextGen Solution Set can be found at: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ato/publications/nextgenplan/. Less than twenty responses were received from the two solicitations, which is less than a 1% response rate. The respondents came from federal and state agencies, airport authorities, consultants, an aviation association, and an aviation manufacturer. The complexity of the questionnaire contributed to the lack of response, but lack of interest might be an issue. The use of open-ended questions with two fairly detailed exhibits required more effort than individuals might have time to devote. More than one respondent indicated not having the time to look over all the material. Because the sample size is statistically insignificant as a result of the low response rate, this section will not report any quantitative findings or draw general conclusions for the transportation community. The questionnaire was successful in eliciting âgemsâ of information from the few respondents, which are discussed in the succeeding sections. Section A.3 addresses the implications for the MDP along with ideas for a more in-depth market research effort. A.1.1. Utility The respondents identified a variety of users for a multimodal noise and emissions model. To the extent that use of the model is required by Federal and state regulations, the primary users of the model would be Federal and state agencies and those conducting noise and air quality analyses on their behalf. The users would likely include consulting corporations and regulatory agency personnel working to prepare analyses required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and air quality conformity analyses. There is a sense that the model must be approved by the appropriate regulatory authorities because it us unlikely that anyone would use a new, complex model and risk unforeseen time delays and expense if they can avoid it. This requirement is much like the current situation in which rail projects use the FRA guidance manual, highway projects use the Traffic Noise Model (TNM), airport projects use Integrated Noise Model (INM) and Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System (EDMS), and military aviation projects use NOISEMAP. Because the model covers all the transportation modes, it would require teams with the various members each having one of the necessary areas of expertise. In order to competently prepare input, and run and assess outputs, several areas of expertise will be necessary. Projects where this model could be most useful are ones that are truly multimodal. That is, projects involving trade-offs among transportation mode interactions, such as, a port project (like cargo handling at Long Beach) that involves alternative docking, truck and rail interaction alternatives. Another example would be projects that assess choices in different transportation modes, such as, the examination of city-pair transportation capacity looking at the alternatives choices within the aviation, rail, and road system services. Regional transportation planning was mentioned as an example of a project where the multimodal model would be of use. It was emphasized that the success of regional transportation projects requires good coordination and cooperation among the various federal and state modal agencies.
A-3 One respondent suggested that the model would also be useful for projects that are not necessarily multimodal, but where other modes are present, such as a county airport near a highway. In that, the airport is ancillary to the project, but may have an effect on abatement efforts for the highway project. Multimodal environmental analysis could ensure that a project involving any single mode (highway construction) is not unfairly punished when another existing mode (the airport) may be the gross offender. Some of the suggestions for airport planning are applications that are already addressed by existing suite of models, such as, how to grow the capacity at an airport hub and yet minimize the noise and emissions impact. Thus, it was recommended that agencies should provide clear guidelines for which projects require use of a multimodal model. For example, the majority of road projects do not involve rail or aviation considerations, and many aviation projects do not involve rail or road, etc. It is not clear that these projects would benefit from the extra expense of using the more complex multimodal model over the current single mode tools. The MDP should consider how the projected model is likely to affect the cost and duration of the environmental/design process. Respondents indicated that project sponsors will be concerned if a new model means significantly increased study costs. Again, agency approval is important and specific guidance on when the model is to be used in the environmental process is needed. One respondent suggested that if the model was cheap and easy to use, it would be used in the initial stages of the environmental assessment process. If expensive and difficult than in a later stage, but before a significant sum of money had been spent. Other respondents suggested that the model would be used early in the process, such as for air transport capacity projects or infrastructure planning projects. Suggestions for how the model would be used reflected the individual perspective of the respondent and the stakeholder that the person represents. Some suggested uses include: â Identify trends, as information and education for the noise and emissions-impacted communities, to address speculation; â Estimate potential environmental impacts and evaluate âdesigned-inâ mitigation measurers; â Verify the correct emission factors being used, power settings, and time-in-modes in the model for Navy aircraft; â Estimate the individual contributions of the various modes and construction activities as well as the sum of all of them; â Evaluate projects alternatives that may consider mode changes as an alternative to a proposed project; â Understand how improvements in product design to reduce source noise or emissions would contribute to reduction in noise or emissions at an airport hub; â Determine ambient noise levels in and around the airport for existing and build scenarios; â Determine emissions for existing and build conditions in and around the airport at major intersections; â Public information and environmental reporting; â Monitor and measure the aggregate impacts of each component part; â Review Environmental Actions for State Block Grant and Federal approvals; â Scenario-based planning studies, on a limited basis; â Analyze highway projects with other modes present in the project area; and â Use it for regular (quarterly) noise modeling and in a Part 150 program.
A-4 Again, the respondents are looking for agenciesâ approvals for specific uses of the model. Some respondents tempered their suggestions on uses of the model with expressions of concern about the complexity and practicality of bringing the various modes into a single environmental model. For example, aviation noise and air quality analysis use different inputs. Similarly, aviation, road, rail and marine all have additional different inputs as well. Rail and road analysis look at the noise source-terrain- receiver geometry on the order of tenâs of feet and usually use localized, high detail elevation/terrain data that may change as a result of the proposed action. The more detailed data are provided by the planning team as opposed to public accessible database, like the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). A respondent identified the need to accommodate independent input and testing of these separate areas. This independence probably means inputs should be modular where necessary (aviation operations, highway traffic, rail and marine traffic all separate for starters) but setting up and running would naturally have identical geographic and topographic input that would be at different levels of detail throughout the study area. In addition to the kinds of output available from current single mode models, the respondents desired the following noise and air emissions output from the multimodal model: â Gridded (geo-located) emissions and noise levels; available on a time of day basis. â Hot spots, lines of (islands) pollutant concentrations â isopollutant lines; isopleths. â Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the flexibility to evaluate alternate fuels or sustainability elements. â Emissions concentrations should be evaluated for less than 1-hour, along with 1-hour, 3-hour, 8-hour, 24-hour, and annual periods. â Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from mobile sources; Mobile Source Air Toxins (MSAT). â Appropriate local regions PPM (parts per million) concentration levels for receptors with an option to convert the predictions to an 8-hour averaging time. â Worse case conditions for carbon monoxide (CO) dispersion near project corridor. â Signal screening information based on LOS (Level of Service) and emission factors. â Audibility on projects near noise sensitive remote areas. â Airport noise contributions against a background of ambient levels. â Noise level at specific points including barrier effects. The respondents want the capability to identify source contributions to a total concentration. On an individual mode basis, it could be used to determine the impacts of an airport action, the impacts of a separate rail project or highway project. It could also combine all modes associated with a single project. Another respondent emphasized the need for a simple, easy to understand breakdown of the data for all those involved; especially the general public, press, politicians, etc. It would also be critical to include the ability to evaluate noise abatement in the same model for both traffic noise and construction noise. One respondent suggested that the model visually display noise and air emissions output individually and together. It would be especially useful, if aerial photos were able to be incorporated and modeling results were presented as both contours and levels at discrete receptors. A respondent emphasized the value of graphical representation of results to better educate and use for public communication of results. There are very powerful and accurate modeling tools now in use, however, they only provide the first step of analyzing the data, and do not excel at presenting the results of the analysis.
A-5 Some respondents identified the need to assess the effects of alternative fuel types for various mobile sources. One respondent suggested extending the model output to include impacts, such as, number of sleep awakenings and number of people highly annoyed. However, this respondent also cautioned that the latest scientific studies suggest that communities do not react equally to noise from all sources, so that including effects may make combining impacts across modes better amenable to the different reactions. For example, once there are reliable dose-response relationships for annoyance by the various modes, then total numbers of people annoyed will be additive, whereas number of people living within a given total DNL is likely to be incorrect in estimating number annoyed. The respondentsâ viewpoints are generally favorable on how the multimodal model could improve decision-making. Projects are almost always focused on a single mode, with the goal of improving the performance and minimizing, reducing, or limiting the impacts of that mode according to reviewing agency with authority over that mode. The multimodal model could be used to identify major trade-offs among modes; not available capability in current single mode models. If the model could identify significant reductions in impacts (noise, emissions, CO2, energy use) that result, for example, from raising road tolls so that travelers use rail or air between NYC and DC (or from high cost of air travel so that travelers use rail between these two cities) then the model could significantly improve urban planning, transportation infrastructure design decisions. As a respondent observed, projects are hindered by comments or criticisms that alternative transportation modes were not considered. In some cases, the criticism is justified as there does not currently exist practical way to conduct these analyses that involve trade-offs between modes. Other positive aspects identified by the respondents are as follows: â Allow airport planners, airport environmental managers, or policy makers to better understand the various source contributions to total noise and emissions at an airport hub and how to determine the most cost-effective policies to reduce the environmental impact. â Improve the understanding of trade-offs between noise and emissions for a potential policy solution not only for a given transport mode, but between modes of transports. â Develop a better understanding between âair-sideâ and âterminal access-sideâ contributions to noise and emissions within the âairport bubbleâ. Improved modeling of these noise and emissions contributions could lead to improved policy decisions on mitigation strategies. â Serve as an early indicator of any problems that may arise and be able to correct or reduce project cost with abatement measures for either of the two environs (noise and air quality). The decision making process would definitely benefit. â Provide consistent and comprehensive outputs across the modes. â Screener in the scoping phase to determine the appropriate level of air quality and noise documentation. â Facilitate the improvement in decision making by allowing those involved in the process to evaluate different scenarios. â Could be useful in the Alternatives Discussion, prior to the creation of the Sponsorâs Proposed Action. â Improve decision making by ensuring âfairnessâ across all transportation modes. â Identify locations where other modes may interfere with highway noise abatement designs. It would also improve understanding of the contribution to the overall noise environment from other noise sources. If used in early planning stages, it may also help guide land use planning recommendations and decision-making.
A-6 â Represents the first step in developing a comprehensive community noise model. In the case of a Master Plan project, it could model all sources from a single program to calculate total impacts. One respondent suggested that synergistic benefits or additive impacts across modes are usually either rare or minimal, and probably can be identified without use of a special model, like the proposed multimodal model. This respondent reasoned that: (1) impact metrics, criteria regulations/guidance and lead agencies are different and (2) currently the results from the existing suite of models can be very efficiently combined post process. Further, the patterns of noise exposure from the modes are so different that they should generally be considered independently. For example, aviation noise is made of a series of relatively loud events, while highway noise tends to be continuous with occasional louder levels from loud trucks or motorcycles. Thus, highway noise should not be thought of as masking aircraft noise events, and vice versa. This respondent also offered that the reaction of people to combined noise sources is not well developed and in need of more research so that the combined results can be properly assessed. A.1.2. Thoughts on Model Design The respondents generally like the all encompassing design of the proposed end state from the aviation perspective. It indicates the potential for a comprehensive evaluation of both noise and air quality parameters, looking at the individual contribution of different modes to a location as well as the total contributions they make. A respondent pointed out that the use of a simulation approach would be an enormous improvement for realistic modeling and analysis of time varying impacts. It would permit development of detailed analyses tailored to specific situations. Specific times of day could be identified as âhot spotsâ and the end state model would permit design of mitigation measures that address the specific activities responsible. It would also permit, and perhaps encourage examination of real modal trade-offs â changing the total modal balance to reduce impacts. Other respondents want more technical detail to be able to offer their thoughts. Some respondents thought the end state would be difficult to achieve. One believes the end state is wishful thinking unless the development of the end state is envisioned in terms of short time lines, i.e. not more than ten years. One concern is that databases age rapidly and become of limited use in projecting the future. Algorithms also change with time and technology, and demographics. This respondent suggested looking backward at historical information and present day results may serve to validate and identify past mistakes or information deficiencies. Another offered the examples of two complex model development projects. FHWA has had horrendous problems in the development of TRANSIMS and EPA has had similar difficulties with their MOVES model (which covers only emissions). EPA found that available data were not sufficient to support their model structure. Early applications required multiple, powerful computers; otherwise, the runs simply required too much time. The economic cost of air quality pollution is incredibly complex, controversial, and uncertain. This respondent views the described end state as an admirable goal, but not practically achievable. There are also concerns about the size and complexity suggested by the description of the proposed end state. How easy will this be to use? How data hungry is it? This multimodal model will likely require considerable user expertise in some or all of the environmental areas to take advantage of the modelâs capabilities. Current studies are done by teams, with each team member adding specific expertise in one or two fields. If preparation and running of the model is significantly more time consuming and expensive than use of current models, the simpler project and less experienced user will be disadvantaged. This possibility suggests that use of the model on the less complex projects needs to be relatively easy and quick â in fact, a design goal should probably be to make use of the model as easy as possible â and if it could be easier to use than current models, so much the better. Another concern is how the model would measure the environmental costs in terms of dollars, current state versus modeled future state? How does the benefits evaluator work? In addition, will the end state lead to a penalty of one mode over another based on an ultimate do not transgress line? This
A-7 suggests a potential for conflicts across metrics, methods, and fidelity level. Since no one tool addresses all transportation modes, there could be inconsistencies in the results. The effort would require a very diverse team to generate accurate results. Then there is the hurdle of gaining acceptance and approval from all government agencies. The respondents proposed the following additional components for the end state: â Ability to automatically grab, via the internet project, required available databases â census data, current fleet mix and operations by airport, state highway traffic data, radar data for identified time period, etc. Current methods require considerable user time and effort to collect the necessary available input data that are not project specific. â Consideration of potential unintended consequences of planned actions. For example, airport expansion produces more traffic but also includes increased demand on sewer, water, waste disposal, electric demand, etc. â GIS-based approach starting with the receptor location identification and then computation of noise/air at these locations based on distance to each source. A GIS that includes buildings and walls would then account for barrier effects. A regular grid could be used to generate contours (by source and/or combined sources). â Flexibility in the model to tweak the model inputs such as vehicle speeds, fleet mix, fuel types, fuel economy for each vehicle type. â Include sources beyond transportation including point sources. â Assessment of impacts on the population including environmental justice. The respondents also offered thoughts on the model development design process. The complexity of the end state is a clear concern. One suggested the following design goal: âAssembly of input data and development of reports will require fewer person hours than required by current models.â This goal could be tracked by developing a test case that is carried throughout the entire series of builds and run each time by test staff to identify difficulties, simplifying methods. The design needs to more completely address the regulatory process with a goal like the following: âRegulatory requirements for use will be clearly enunciated, responsive to model capabilities, and updated as experience with the model accumulates.â One respondent suggested that the design needs to be scaled back, such as, do not combine noise and air quality in the same model and do not link to models that may not be widely deployed such as TRANSIMS. Another respondent emphasized the need to explain all this to the public and decision- makers, especially those who would decide funding. A.1.3. Thoughts on Build Sequence The respondents agree that the incremental build sequence makes sense. Reasons cited include: â Allows the designers to adapt and learn as they go. â Garners long-term support from stakeholders, plus provides a limited, early operational capability. â Leverage what is already out there and what is coming next. â Builds upon previous successful stages.
A-8 One respondent suggested an earlier step that studies existing models and notes similarities and differences in inputs and outputs. Another suggested starting with a GIS database and adding source noise and emissions to it. One viewpoint was that it is premature to put together a detailed build process before getting a better understanding on the âreal worldâ applications for the multimodal model. The working premise that all potential stakeholders would agree on the first build might not be true. Several questions need to be addressed. Are the data available to support the desired level of modeling? Many of the described emissions and air quality models are still evolving. How do these updates get incorporated? What are the agencies really doing with ongoing development of their current models? Do good emissions models exist for the full range of air side ground support vehicles? The proposed build sequence assumes each preceding build worked successfully. There is no clear roadmap for full testing of each build. Testing will be time consuming and costly. How is this testing to be done? Will the user community be expected to test each build on projects? If so, there should be recognition that the types of projects that would benefit from such a model take several years from the point of model selection to public release of the results, and hence, several years to identify a specific buildâs strengths and weaknesses. Other respondents recommended using existing tools as much as possible. One suggested streamlining all the existing models, accepted and in use; into one all encompassing model for the benefit of all kinds of users. Another expressed it as leveraging existing noise and emission predictions tools as much as possible and make sure the capability is modular to allow easy substitution of individual elements. One respondent suggested examining some ongoing or recent airport projects that included more than aircraft â likely road or rail traffic. Investigate with the various participants how they are or have conducted the separate analyses and how those analyses address the regulatory criteria of the one or more reviewing agencies. What methods did they use to combine or compare impacts from the different modes? What tools or guidance would have helped in the analysis and decision-making? Did having more than aircraft in the analysis affect any of the decisions, or were decisions made independently by mode? A.1.4. Other Issues and Concerns The âstovepipe cultureâ is a concern shared by respondents. The RFP describes this stovepipe culture as âThe social, environmental, and economic effects of noise, emissions, congestion, and delays from aircraft, highways, and rail are typically evaluated and mitigated separately.â The stovepipe metaphor extends far beyond the technical models and into the regulatory approaches of the various agencies. Apart from the obvious incongruities (e.g., DNL - aviation and some rail issues - vs. loudest- hour Leq - highway and other rail issues), there are other important differences, e.g.: treatment of indoor vs. outdoor use areas, annoyance vs. activity interference, mitigation requirements, and cost reasonableness criteria. It would appear that a multi-agency noise policy would need to accompany the multimodal model. In general, getting acceptance from governmental agencies to adopt the new model over existing ones and to accept outputs from the model seems a major hurdle. The proposed build sequence depends on having active supportive user communities and agencies sponsors to continually test new versions. Is it realistic to expect such support as successive versions of the model become more complicated; leading to more opportunities for inconsistencies from user to user and more time and effort required to wring out the bugs and problems with each build? Maintaining consistency of results from version to version is an issue. Then there is the practical matter that major multimodal projects might extend across the release of more than one of the intermediate versions of the model. Who makes the decision on the official version to use and what is the rationale?
A-9 Cost and time are widely shared concerns. Several respondents recognize that this is a very expensive effort. For example, it takes a lot of money and time to develop models that will validate EPA baseline metric for emissions. Then there is the cost to the end user. The complexity of this model renders it expensive to use and thus prohibitive to all but the largest of airport operators. Making it cost effective to use for all facets of airport development should be a priority. One respondent observed that the most challenging task will be to harmonize all the noise models (airplanes, autos, buses, trains, etc) and to end up with a âcompositeâ model that can reasonably project the overall impact on airport community noise by introducing changes or new technology to reduce the noise of one or more sources of noise. Adding to the challenge is to ensure that the model and all the data can reside on a desktop computer offering reasonable runtimes. Another respondent is concerned about lack of underlying data. For air quality, different experts are required for different pollutants, as well as for emissions and air quality modeling. Atmospheric concentration models are large, complex, and still evolving. There may be more that is not known about air toxics and fine particulate matter than is known. The issues and hurdles that the respondents identified also led some to express doubt about the outcome. One respondent suspects that the effort will produce a big, data hungry, complicated, expensive model that no one either can or will use because of its complexity. Another is concerned that the model would be used without using topographic and barrier information to adequately propagate rail and road noise into the community. One indicated that he might not be able to use the CO emissions component of the model if it does not incorporate streamlining software developed by his agency. Another respondent worries about effect of too frequent updates on the end user. Upgrades are costly and time consuming. It is further complicated when the upgrade causes a significant change in model output that could affect project decisions. Another respondent questioned whether itâs desirable or advantageous to combine these into a single modeling system since the noise and air quality are very different disciplines. One respondent worries that use of the model will foster discrimination of one transportation mode (arbitrary reduce the capability) over another mode. One respondent indicated that it might help to allay some concerns if there is clearer identification of what types of projects can use such a model, what value it would be to such projects and how the various reviewing/regulatory agencies that oversee each individual mode would interpret and use the results of the multimodal analysis. This respondent would like to see more effort to identify the types of projects that would really benefit from the massive effort entailed in developing all the builds. Several airports are near or bordered by highways â JFK, EWR, LGA, PHL, FLL, SAN to list a few â assessment of these situations, perhaps through interviews, and some modeling exercises could reveal the value of a multimodal model. Several recent airport Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) have involved changes to roadways and rail lines; these studies could serve as examples to understand how the modeling was performed and the results were interpreted relative to agency criteria. A fundamental issue is that impacts for highway and road occur in relatively narrow corridors, while airport impacts cover generally larger areas, many of which may not be affected directly by the corridor impacts. In partial response to the issues raised by this respondent, Section A.2 describes what was learned so far about recent and ongoing multimodal projects. A.2. Multimodal Case Studies As part of this research project, the major modal administrations within DOT, plus others, were contacted for information about their past multimodal studies. Of particular interest were noise and air quality procedures for transportation modes outside that administrationâs direct jurisdictionâfor example, highway and rail computation/assessment within FAA-sponsored studies. Answers were sought to the following questions: â What models were used? Who used them? How were they used?
A-10 â What data was used and the data sources? â What were the decisions? Who made the decisions? What were the environmental criteria? A.2.1. Recent and Ongoing Studies The FAA, in cooperation with the Department of the Interior, recently prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Southern Nevada Supplement Airport (SNSA)âotherwise known as the Ivanpah Valley Airport. Travel between this airport and Las Vegas, some thirty miles north, would involve a new transit line and/or increased traffic on Interstate 15âdepending upon the chosen project alternative. This induced surface traffic between the airport and Las Vegas requires assessment of non-aviation noise and air quality as part of this FAA-sponsored study (details can be found at www.snvairporteis.com). Other recent and ongoing multimodal projects sponsored by FAA include: â Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Erie International Airport, Tom Ridge Field, including roadway closing and bridge replacement (http://www.erieairport improvement.org); â Draft EIS for the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) Capacity Enhancement Program, which explicitly considers other modes of transportation (www.phl-cep-eis.com); and â Final EIS for the OâHare Modernization Program (www.agl.faa.gov/omp/FEIS.htm). The FTA, along with the FHWA, recently completed a Draft EIS for the Columbia River Crossing between Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washingtonâalong a five-mile segment of the Interstate 5 corridor. This project proposes to replace or rehabilitate the existing river crossing, provide highway improvements, and either extend light rail or provide bus rapid transit with several transit alignment and length options. This complex study required computation and assessment of non-rail noise and air quality as part of this joint FTA- and FHWA-sponsored project (http://drafteis.columbiarivercrossing.org). The FRA has completed its Final EIR/EIS for the California High-Speed Rail Project, proposed to run between Sacramento and San Diego. This immensely complex study included airport-only and highway-only project alternatives, which required computation and assessment of non-rail noise and air quality as part of this FRA-sponsored project (www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov). The FHWA, along with the Ohio Department of Transportation, has sponsored two recent multimodal projects in Ohio. The Eastern Corridor Major Investment Study in Hamilton and Claremont Counties involved a roadway/rail multimodal project (Eastern Corridor Multimodal Projects, Hamilton and Clarement Counties, Ohio: Tier-1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (portions). Ohio Department of Transportation, Office of Environmental Services, Columbus OH. Provided by Noel Alcala, Noise and Air Quality Coordinator). The West Avenue Grade Separation Project in Ashtabula included a new Northfolk Southern overpass or underpass, depending upon the chosen project alternative (West Avenue Grade Separation Project (portions). Ohio Department of Transportation, Office of Environmental Services, Columbus OH. Provided by Noel Alcala, Noise and Air Quality Coordinator.). Both these studies required assessment of non-highway noise and air quality as part of the FHWA- sponsored project. A.2.2. Noise Assessment Procedures Noise procedures differ significantly by modal administration. Each administration has its own computation methods (computer programs or spreadsheets), noise metrics, and assessment criteria, which focus almost exclusively on the single transportation mode that it regulates and sponsors. These existing computation/assessment methods are discussed below. Essentially without exception when a particular project involves additional transportation modes, the sponsoring administration defers to the noise procedures of the administration with jurisdiction over those additional modes. For such multimodal projects, sometimes deferral is by regulation and sometimes
A-11 it is through âguidanceâ documents. The following paragraphs summarize how various federal agencies address modal noise assessments. A.2.2.1. FAA. FAA regulations do not stipulate methods for assessment of highway and rail noise. Instead, FAA guidance on those matters appears in Chapter 17 of its Environmental Desk Reference (Environmental Desk Reference for Airport Actions. Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Airports, Office of Airport Planning and Programming, Airports Planning and Environmental Division, APP-400, October 2007. Available at http://www.faa.gov/airports_ airtraffic/airports/environmental). This chapter specifies the use of the Integrated Noise Model (INM) for airport development actions requiring a detailed aircraft noise analysis. INM is an average-value-model designed to estimate long-term average effects using average annual input conditions. This guidance document also explicitly requires use of FHWA noise procedures whenever highway-noise impacts potentially exist on FAA-sponsored projects. Although rail is not mentioned explicitly, the implication is clear that FTA and FRA procedures should be followed, as well, to determine rail-noise impacts. To satisfy this FAA guidance, the Ivanpah Valley Airport project assesses impact from the induced highway and rail traffic with FHWA and FTA procedures, respectivelyâthe latter as further regulated by the Nevada Department of Transportation. The Erie Airport Improvement Project, which concluded with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) by FAA, used FAAâs Integrated Noise Model (INM) to assess aircraft noise exposure. The Erie project also involved the relocation of a street and the EA qualitatively addressed the temporary noise increase due to both the road and runway construction. The PHL Capacity Enhancement Project used INM to assess aircraft noise. A.2.2.2. FTA. FTA policy on multimodal projects is explicitly defined in its guidance manual, Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment (Report FTA-VA-90-1003-06, Federal Transit Administration, Office of Planning and Environment, Washington, DC, May 2006). In particular, where an FTA-sponsored project involves highway noise sourcesâmost often transit busesâthen this guidance manual explicitly requires computation and assessment per FHWA procedures. The Columbia River Crossing DEIS employed several noise assessment methods and impact criteria. Long-term operational impacts were evaluated through a three-dimensional modeling analysis using the FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM), Version 2.5. The predicted noise levels for each alternative were compared to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) absolute noise impact criteria. The transit noise analysis for the project alternatives followed the FTAâs Detailed Noise Analysis methodology. This methodology provides a comprehensive assessment of project noise impacts commensurate with the level of design detail available. For bus transit and highway transit projects, the FTA guidance recommends following the FHWA methodology and, therefore, TNM was used for this analysis. Bus transit centers or other bus transit/highway transit stationary sources were analyzed following the FTAâs Detailed Assessment methodology. The transit vibration analysis for this analysis follows the FTAâs General Vibration Assessment methodology. A.2.2.3. FRA. In practice, FTA and FRA share resources and expertise for federal actions involving rail noise. FRA relies upon the FTA noise and vibration impact assessment procedures for assessing improvements to conventional passenger rail lines and stationary rail facilities. A supplemental freight rail analysis spreadsheet tool was developed for the Chicago Rail Efficiency and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program using FTA procedures (www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/253). FRA issued its record of decision (ROD) on the California high speed rail project on November 18, 2005. The environmental review compared the environmental consequences of building a high speed train system to other modal alternativesâbuilding more lanes, bridges and ramps along highways versus new terminals, gates and runways at airports. The noise assessment of the components comprising the No Project and Modal Alternatives are based on relevant criteria adopted by the FHWA, FAA, and FTA. Each agencyâs criteria were used to define a screening distance for assessing the potential for noise
A-12 impact from relevant sources. The assessment also used FRA and FTA vibration impact criteria related to rail transportation. The screening assessments can be summarized as follows: â FRA and FTA noise and vibration impact criteria were used for the High Speed Train (HST) and conventional rail alternatives. â For modal alternatives that involve highway improvements (additional lanes), FHWA TNM was used to determine the distance at which the road noise contour of 65 A-weighted decibels (dBA) LEQ is reached. â For modal alternatives that involve airport improvements (additional gates and runways), the 65-dBA DNL noise contour was redrawn and reassessed and overlaid with census data to assess the potential for aircraft noise impact. A.2.2.4. FHWA. The FHWA has no procedures concerning assessment of non-highway transportation noise. It does, however, delegate part of its regulatory authority to the various state highway administrations, requiring each state to adopt a noise policy that is consistent with FHWA national policy. Those state policies can, if the state desires, contain additional regulatory detail. And therefore, for lack of any national policy about non-highway modes, multimodal methods are decided state by state. Only one stateâs noise policy mentions other transportation modesâthat of WSDOT. That state policy explicitly requires use of FTA procedures for multimodal projects involving rail transit. In general, other states also follow this same deference to the policies of non-sponsoring administrations. This is the case, for example, in the two multimodal projects of the Ohio Department of Transportation, mentioned above. For the Ohio Eastern Corridor Multimodal Project, FHWA Look-up Table in TNM was used as a screening assessment of highway segments that might approach the FHWA Noise Abatement Criteria (NAC). FTA noise impact assessment guidance was used to identify rail noise sensitive locations. FTA vibration screening method was used to determine if the proposed rail transit alternatives might affect certain vibration-sensitive land uses. For the Ohio West Avenue Grade Separation Project, FHWA TNM was used both for highway noise prediction and barrier effects on rail noise. FTA screening procedure was used for rail noise. The EA also combined the models outputs to produce transportation (rail and highway) hourly LEQ predictions. A.2.3. Air Quality Assessment Procedures The Environmental Protection Agency has overarching jurisdiction for computing and assessing air quality of federally funded projects. As a result, air quality procedures of the DOT modal administrations are essentially equivalent. In essence, they involve a consistent set of computation methods for air quality emissions and dispersion, independent of the sponsoring administration. Of particular interest to this research project is FAA guidance material about these EPA requirements. That material is contained in Chapter 1 of the FAA Environmental Desk Reference, supplemented by the FAA Air Quality Handbook. This chapter discusses requirements to conduct air quality analyses for airport development projects under the NEPA and Clean Air Act (CAA). Generally, detailed analysis is needed for a project that, due to its size, scope, or location has the potential to affect the attainment and maintenance of established air quality standards. Those standards are known as âNational Ambient Air Quality Standardsâ (NAAQS) and are present for six criteria pollutants. Although the requirements under NEPA and the CAA differ in certain respects, generally the same analysis fulfills requirements under both. NEPA is more rigorous in that it may require detailed analysis where it is not needed under the CAA general conformity provisions. FAA requires the use of its own Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System (EDMS) for assessing aviation-related air quality impacts except hazardous air pollutants. The EDMS contains emission factors for aircraft engines, ground service equipment (GSE),
A-13 motor vehicles, and other sources of emissions common to airports. To comply with FAA requirements, analysts must use the most current version of the model when preparing airport emission inventories and performing a dispersion analysis. The Erie Airport project used EDMS to compute: (1) emissions inventory for transportation and general conformity with CAA and (2) dispersion concentrations for NAAQS assessment. The Columbia River Crossing project used EPAâs MOBILE6.2 model for the transportation and general conformity determination. MOBILE6.2 and CAL3QHC models were used to predict local Carbon Monoxide (CO) concentrations. The air quality technical report for this project discussed shortcomings in current air quality models when it comes to predicting Mobile Source Air Toxins (MSAT). The air quality analysis for the California High Speed Rail Program EIS focused on the potential statewide, regional, and localized impacts on air quality. The regional pollutant burdens were estimated based on: (1) changes in vehicles miles traveled (VMT) for on-road mobile sources (vehicles), (2) off-road mobile sources (number of plane operations and train movements), and (3) changes in emissions of stationary sources (electrical power generators). For example, On-road pollutant burdens were calculated as a ratio of baseline VMT to estimated VMT changes under each alternative and FAAâs EDMS was used to estimate airplane emissions. The Ohio Eastern Corridor Multimodal project did not include any air quality modeling because it was determined that the project was consistent with air quality goals of the one-hour ozone maintenance plans of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. A.3. Implications for the Model Design Plan The market research was to identify future user communities for the multimodal noise and emissions model and to receive their reactions to some of the initial design concepts. The market research findings were also intended to describe the current and future multimodal and intermodal projects that would benefit from the use of this model. The effort as reported here was partially successful on each of its objectives. One of the major issues, as already discussed, was the lack of response from the potential user communities. The people who did respond provided valuable gems of information. This appendix contains good ideas that will be addressed in the MDP on things such as the kinds of output they want. The respondents also raised very valid concerns about the complexity and cost associated with the new model that need be addressed in the build sequence section of the MDP. However, it is not practical to draw conclusions on behalf of the overall user community when the response rate is less than 1%. Market research remains an important instrument for gauging interest in the model. Therefore, the MDP includes ideas for more effective survey instruments to use with the potential user communities. For example, the FAA Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) and Aviation Portfolio Management Tool (APMT) development projects began with a series of workshops conducted by the TRB. The intent was to assist FAA in defining the attributes and requirements for the new models by gathering input from the aviation user, operations, manufacturing, and research communities through a series of sequential workshops. Other ideas for the MDP include the employ of professional market survey firm and survey devices like focus groups of pertinent stakeholders to uncover a customer base for the multimodal model. Bringing in a market survey organization would also help to address questions about the utility of the model. Section A.2 just scratches the surface on how federal agencies conduct multimodal projects. The case studies discussed in this section seem to have been successful in adequately addressing noise and emissions impacts from more than one transportation modes. Almost all of the studies relied on approved models and procedures that addressed noise and emissions impacts according to the individual criteria established by the relevant modal agencies. These case studies did not provide enough material to be able to answer how a multimodal noise and emissions model would have helped.
A-14 As one of the questionnaire respondents pointed out, there is a need for clearer identification of what types of projects can use such a model. Therefore, to justify the future investment of federal research funds, the MDP proposes a systematic process to gauge the utility of the multimodal model through the use of a market survey firm. The products of this effort are the identification of the kinds of airport projects that would benefit from the model and answers on what value the model would be to such projects and on how the various reviewing/regulatory agencies that oversee each individual mode would interpret and use the results of the multimodal analysis.