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Understanding General Conformity in Texas

Information about the EPA's general conformity regulation and how it affects projects in Texas.

What is General Conformity?

General conformity is a federal Clean Air Act requirement under Section 176(c) established to ensure that actions by the federal government will not cause or contribute to violations of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and will not delay timely attainment of the NAAQS. General conformity regulations, documented in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 93, Subpart B , apply in NAAQS nonattainment and maintenance areas and require that emissions from federal actions subject to general conformity requirements are consistent with the air quality goals established in the state implementation plan (SIP). General conformity requirements apply for new nonattainment areas one year after the effective date of a nonattainment designation.

Actions Subject to General Conformity

Not every federal action in a NAAQS nonattainment or maintenance area is subject to general conformity requirements. Exempt actions include those:

  • subject to transportation conformity (40 CFR Part 93, Subpart A );
  • determined by the federal agency to be de minimis;
  • presumed to conform; or
  • specifically identified in the regulations as exempt.

A federal action must undergo a determination of general conformity compliance when emissions from that action are expected to equal or exceed the de minimis emissions thresholds established in 40 CFR §93.153 .

Demonstrating General Conformity

If a federal agency determines that the emissions from an action exceed de minimis and the action is not otherwise exempt, then the agency must demonstrate that direct and indirect emissions from the action will conform to the SIP. The federal agency’s general conformity determination process is conducted in consultation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

For more information on general conformity regulations and requirements, please visit the EPA’s General Conformity page.

For information concerning the TCEQ’s environmental review role under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or to submit a NEPA review request, please visit the TCEQ’s Requesting TCEQ Review under the National Environmental Policy Act page.

Contact Us

Jamie Zech
Air Quality Division, TCEQ
Phone: 512-239-3935