Basic Information About the General Conformity Rule
What the Rule Does
The purpose of the General Conformity rule is to ensure that :
- federal activities do not cause or contribute to new violations of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS);
- actions do not worsen existing violations of the NAAQS; and
- attainment of the NAAQS is not delayed.
General Conformity covers most aspects of federally funded or approved actions not covered by the Transportation Conformity program.
In November 1993, EPA promulgated two sets of regulations to implement Section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act. First, on November 24, EPA promulgated the Transportation Conformity regulations, which apply to highways and mass transit. These regulations establish the criteria and procedures for determining whether transportation plans, programs, and projects funded under title 23 U.S. C. or the Federal Transit Act conform with the State Implementation Plan (SIP) (58 FR 62188). Then, on November 30, EPA promulgated a second set of regulations, known as the General Conformity regulations, which apply to all other federal actions. These regulations ensured that other federal actions also conformed to the SIPs (58 FR 63214).
EPA has developed several guidance documents on General Conformity.