Air Quality

The importance of the air quality program is to inform and advise MCAG and member agencies on air quality issues and policies, to ensure that MCAG's transportation plans, programs, and projects conform to the most recent air quality requirements, and to coordinate effectively with other government agencies on these matters.

Clean Air Act
Air quality conformity is the process wherein plans, programs, and projects are shown to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act, its Amendments, and the applicable State Implementation Plan. Merced County is designated to be in non-attainment for the pollutants ozone, PM-10 (dust) and PM-2.5. Specific procedures for fulfilling the requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments are given in the Final Conformity Rule published by the EPA in 1993 and updated in 2004. MCAG is responsible for fulfilling these requirements.

Similar work is performed by the seven other Transportation Planning Agencies (TPAs) in the San Joaquin Valley. All valley TPAs work closely with each other and with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) on air quality issues, conformity determinations, and the development and implementation of Transportation Control Measures (TCMs), with the ultimate goal of improving the air quality in the Valley. A Memorandum of Understanding exists between the Air District and the eight valley TPAs, for the purpose of ensuring coordinated and consistent valley wide air quality planning.