Mobile Source Planning
The mobile source planning group within the Bureau of Air Quality Planning is responsible for controlling emissions of criteria air pollutants from mobile sources. Mobile sources consist of on-road vehicles including cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles and non-road equipment such as lawn mowers, boats, forklifts, locomotives, trimmers and construction equipment. The criteria air pollutants are: carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone (formed from volatile organic compounds and nitrogen dioxide), particulates and sulfur dioxide.
Three other groups within the DEP have been established to address the related areas of motor vehicle inspection and maintenance, diesel emissions from mobile sources (diesel risk reduction team), and the New Jersey Clean Car Act of 2004.
Highlights of the activities of the mobile source planning group are provided below.
- State Implementation Plan Preparation – The State Implementation Plan (SIP) is a written plan required by the Federal Clean Air Act that states must prepare when the levels of criteria air pollutants exceed Federal health-based standards within the state boundaries. A primary purpose of the SIP is to demonstrate how emissions will be reduced to achieve attainment and subsequent maintenance of the air quality standards. The mobile source planning group is responsible for the preparation of detailed emission inventories for the various mobile sources, as well as the identification and evaluation of potential control measures to reduce emissions from mobile sources. Emission inventories are developed for New Jersey using detailed computer models issued and maintained by the US Environmental Protection Agency for on-road and non-road sources.
- Transportation and General Conformity – The Federal Clean Air Act requires that states conduct Transportation and General Conformity determinations in areas that exceed, or used to exceed, the Federal health-based standards. In New Jersey this applies to various areas due to past or present exceedances of the ozone, fine particle and carbon monoxide standards. “Conformity” refers to conforming to, or being consistent with, the SIP. Transportation conformity is demonstrated by comparing future projections of emissions from on-road vehicles with emission budgets that were established in the SIP. Mobile source planning staff are responsible for establishing new and updated emission budgets and participating in an inter-agency group that implements the Transportation Conformity requirements. While Transportation Conformity applies to emissions from on-road vehicles, General Conformity applies to Federally funded or Federally permitted construction projects. General Conformity evaluations consist of a comparison of estimated project emissions to threshold levels. If project emissions exceed threshold levels the project owner or sponsor must perform emission mitigation measures that reduce emissions by the amount of estimated project emissions.
- Rule Preparation Support – Mobile source planning staff provide technical support for the preparation of rules that control mobile source emissions. This support often includes the calculation of emission benefits for one or more control scenarios.
- Transportation Fuels – This task includes the performance of research and providing recommendations regarding both petroleum-based and alternative transportation fuels. Examples of recent transportation fuel issues include the sulfur content of gasoline and diesel, the requirements for the use of Federal Reformulated Gasoline, and the use of ethanol as a fuel.