On December 17, 2004, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the Greensboro Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (along with the other three Triad area MPOs) as a Non-Attainment Area under the Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard. This designation became effective on April 5, 2005.
To avoid federal sanctions, the MPO must make a conformity determination by April 5, 2006. A conformity determination demonstrates:
- that the total emissions expected expected to be produced as a result of the projects to be implemented by MPO's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP) are within the emissions limits ("budgets") established by the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality, and
- that Transportation Control Measures (TCMs) – specific projects or programs enumerated in the SIP that are designed to improve air quality – are implemented in a timely fashion.
The US Department of Transportation and EPA found the Greensboro Urban Area Metropolitan Organization (along with the other three Triad MPOs) to be conforming for Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) on April 5, 2006.