In April 2004, EPA designated three areas in South Carolina nonattainment for the
8-hour ozone standard. Two of those areas, Anderson-Greenville-Spartanburg and Columbia,
had the effective date of their designation deferred as long as they met milestones
agreed to in their 8-hour Ozone Early Action Compact. These areas met all of the
milestones and in April 2008, based on ambient air monitoring data for 2005, 2006,
and 2007, the areas were redesignated to attainment.
As a result of the deferral, these two areas were not required to implement the
Clean Air Act requirement of Transportation Conformity for nonattainment areas.
However, air quality and transportation officials agree on the importance of considering
air quality goals in transportation planning. The parties involved developed a Smart
Highways checklist to be used in transportation planning. This checklist was intended
solely as an informational guideline to be used in reviewing Long Range Transportation
Plans and Transportation Improvement Programs for adequacy of their documentation
and used during long range transportation plan updates as required by 23 CFR 450.322.
This process was commonly referred to as Smart Highways. Air quality
and transportation officials engaged in the Smart Highways process included the
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) from the deferred nonattainment EAC areas
(ANATS, GPATS, SPATS and COATS), the South Carolina Department of Transportation,
Federal Highway Administration South Carolina Division, EPA Region 4, Federal Transit
Administration, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.