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NORTHWESTERN INDIANA REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION FULL COMMISSION/EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING

Thursday, May 16, 2019, 9:00 A.M.

NIRPC Lake Michigan Room, 6100 Southport Road, Portage, IN

Annotated Agenda


1.0 Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance – Diane Noll, Chair

2.0 Public Comment

Members of the audience who have signed up to comment on agenda items will be recognized by the Chair.

Time is limited to 3 minutes per commenter. Commenters must sign up on the blue form prior to the start of the meeting.


3.0 Approval of the Minutes of the April 18, 2019 Executive Board Meeting (pp. 1-4)

ACTION REQUESTED: Approval

4.0 Report of the Chair – Diane Noll


5.0 Report of the Executive Director – Ty Warner


    1. Finance & Personnel Committee – Justin Kiel (pp. 5-22)

    2. South Shore Clean Cities Contract (pp.8-22)

Staff will present on the contract for the air quality education program

ACTION REQUESTED: Approval


    1. Technical Planning Committee – Kevin Breitzke (pp. 23-82)

    2. Air Quality Conformity Determination for NWI 2050 Plan, 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program

        1. Public Comment Report on Air Quality Conformity Determination (p. 29) Staff will present on public comments received for the Air Quality Conformity Determination

          INFORMATIONAL (No Action Required)

        2. Resolution 19-18, Air Quality Conformity Determination for NWI 2050 Plan, 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (pp. 30-52)

      Staff will present on Air Quality Conformity Determination for NWI 2050 Plan, 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program

      ACTION REQUESTED: Approval

    3. NWI 2050 Plan

        1. Public Comment Report on NWI 2050 Plan (pp. 53-68)

          Staff will present on public comments received for the NWI 2050 Plan

          INFORMATIONAL (No Action Required)

        2. Resolution 19-19, NWI 2050 Plan Adoption (pp. 69-70) Staff will present the NWI 2050 Plan (Handout)

      ACTION REQUESTED: Adoption

    4. FY 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program

        1. Public Comment Report on FY 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (pp. 71-79) Staff will present the public comment report on FY 2020-2024 Transportation

          Improvement Program

          INFORMATIONAL (No Action Required)

        2. Resolution 19-20, FY 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (pp. 680-81)

      Staff will present Resolution 19-20, FY 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program to incorporate federally required performance-based planning targets. (Handout)

      ACTION REQUESTED: Approval

    5. Volkswagen Mitigation

7.41 Resolution 19-21, Support for Volkswagen Mitigation (p. 82)


8.0 INDOT, Rick Powers, La Porte District Deputy Commissioner

9.0 Other Business

10.0 Announcements

11.0 Adjournment


The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, familial status, parental status, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program.

NIRPC Executive Board Meeting 6100 Southport Road, Portage, IN April 18, 2019

Minutes


Call to Order - Chairperson Diane Noll called the meeting to order at 9:09 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and self-introductions. The meeting was streamed live on YouTube.


Executive Board Members present included Geof Benson, Justin Kiel, Mark Krentz, Diane Noll, Greg Stinson, James Ton and George Topoll.


Other Commissioners present included Kyle Allen, Sr., Kevin Breitzke, Robert Carnahan, Will Farrellbegg, Tom Schmitt, Dave Shafer and Brian Snedecor.


Guests present included Mary Brown, Carl Lisek, Tim Werner, AJ Monroe, Lauren Varga, Ismail Attallah, Rick Powers, Matt Deitchley, Christopher Murphy, David Wright, Kayanna Kilosa, Gorgon Ferguson, Tim Zorn and Andrew Steele.


Staff present included Dave Hollenbeck, Ty Warner, Daria Sztaba, Kathy Luther, Trey Wadsworth, Talaya Jones, Mitch Barloga, Lisa Todd, Dominique Edwards, Charles Bradsky, and Candice Eklund.


Public Comments –

There were no comments from the public.


Minutes – The minutes of the March 21, 2019 Executive Board meeting were approved on a motion by Greg Stinson and a second by George Topoll.


Report of the Chair – Diane Noll

Diane Noll reported that Nick Meyer, Commissioner from Long Beach, will be replaced by Mark Krentz, Mayor of the City of La Porte, on the Technical Planning Committee.


Report of the Executive Director – Ty Warner

Ty Warner introduced Carl Lisek, of South Shore Clean Cities, who spoke on the VW mitigation settlement process. $41 million is available to Indiana to reduce emissions. Any diesel-powered vehicle can be replaced with another diesel vehicle or an alternative fuel vehicle. South Shore Clean Cities will file applications with the communities and with NIRPC. $9.8 million is currently being solicited for Indiana with IDEM for on-road and non-road vehicles. A minimum of three applications will be placed for this round and communities can apply for electric charging stations or electric vehicles. The settlement money is not considered federal money and an award can be leveraged with federal money. The grant applications close on June 17. The goal is to have every NIRPC community be a part of the Green Fleet Program.


Ty Warner said the draft NWI 2050 Plan is currently out for public comment and one of the sections discusses possible futures and references alternative fuels and reduced emissions. Mr. Warner read the handout dates, times and locations of the Open Houses and public hearings. The locations are

transit accessible. The comment period continues throughout April. Comments can be taken at the hearings, online and on NIRPC’s website. The plan continues NIRPC’s commitment to environmental issues, transportation and economic development.


Kathy Luther announced that NIRPC and the Northwest Indiana Forum are hosting a workshop Thursday, May 2 at 1 pm in the Lake Michigan Room to discuss wetland permitting changes, waterway permits and habitat issues. There is a new tool to move permitting and mitigation along more quickly which will be explained by the Department of Natural Resources. An informal conversation will take place with DNR at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 2, which will replace the more formal Environmental Management Policy Committee meeting.


Diane Noll announced a change in the order of the agenda. The report from the Technical Planning Committee will take place first with the report of the Finance & Personnel Committee to follow.


Kevin Breitzke reported that the regular Technical Planning Committee meeting took place on April 9 and a special meeting was held on April 16 to resolve outstanding matters relating to projects in the draft FY 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program. The first action is on Resolution 19-14, Amendment #2 to the FY 2019-2020 Unified Planning Work Program. Trey Wadsworth summarized the 30-day public comment period and explained the action, which was recommended favorably by the Technical Planning Committee. On a motion by George Topoll and a second by Jim Ton, the Executive Board voted to adopt Resolution 19-14, Amendment #2 to the FY 2019-2020 Unified Planning Work Program.


The second action is on Resolution 19-15, Amendment #21 to the FY 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program. Charles Bradsky said no public comments were received during the 30-day public comment period. However, after a review by Federal Highways Administration and the Interagency Consultation Group, it was found that several projects were inadvertently left off. They were added in and the TIP went out for a 9-day public comment period during which no public comments were received. Technical comments were submitted by the Federal Highway Administration on the R-TIP, asking for more specific location data, whether the project is exempt or non-exempt from air quality conformity, the project route and whether the project adds capacity to the roadway. These changes were outlined in the materials. The action was recommended favorably by the Technical Planning Committee. On a motion by Jim Ton and a second by Greg Stinson, the Executive Board voted to adopt Resolution 19-15, Amendment #21 to the FY 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program.


Kevin Brietzke said the Draft NWI 2050 Plan is out for a 30-day public comment period. The open houses and public hearings will take place next week. Mitch Barloga presented an overview of the NWI 2050 Plan which is out for public comment through April 30. The Plan examines trends and influences of the future including economy and place, environment, mobility, and people and leaders. It identifies strategies to pursue, investments to make, and progress to measure to achieve the vision for the region. This plan provides sixteen critical paths of action to be prepared for Northwestern Indiana’s future. The Plan is online at

https://www.nirpc.org/2040-plan/transportation/2050-plan/. Information includes the Plan Storybook, the Plan in PDF format, a link for comments and information on the open houses and

public hearings which will be held during the last full week of April in all three counties. Schedules were available.


Also out for public comment through April 30 is the FY 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program. It is on the NIRPC website at under the Transportation/2020-2024 TIP dropdown. All input from the public and the topical committees will be presented in a public comment report.


The Transportation Conformity Determination for the NWI 2050 Plan and 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program can be found on the NIRPC website under the Environmental - Air Quality drop down. It is also open for public comment through April 30. Mr. Warner added that adoption of the Plan, TIP and Air Quality Conformity will be sought at the Full Commission meeting on May 16. Mr. Breitzke said he asked staff to review the process and determine the “lessons learned” to prepare for the next NOFA. He also welcomed Mayor Krentz as a new member of the TPC. The next Technical Planning Committee meeting will take place on May 14 at 10 a.m. at NIRPC.


Finance & Personnel Committee – Justin Kiel


Justin Kiel said the committee met this morning to review the financial status, reconciliation of expenses, and approve the claims register. There were two actions recommended by the Finance & Personnel Committee and requested of the Board today.


Lisa Todd explained Resolution 19-16, NIRPC’s Purchasing and Procurement Policy which has been changed due to the receipt of technical comments from INDOT. The new policy additions are highlighted on the handout and will allow for more efficient guidelines. On a motion by Jim Ton and a second by George Topoll, the Executive Board voted to adopt Resolution 19-16, NIRPC’s Purchasing and Procurement Policy as presented.


Dave Hollenbeck asked for a motion to amend the agenda to add Resolution 19-17 an update to the adopted FTA Procurement Procedure Manual. On a motion by Jim Ton and a second by Greg Stinson, the Executive Board voted to amend the agenda to include Resolution 19-17.


Mr. Hollenbeck explained Resolution 19-17, an update to the adopted FTA Procurement Procedure Manual. The need for the update was brought up at this morning’s Finance & Personnel Committee. Section 3 of the manual explains that the subrecipients pay 20% of the cost of a new bus with a federal share of 80%. The buses are ordered once the subrecipient pays the 20% share and delivery of the bus can take up to a year. East Chicago would like to order a couple of buses and their match would be paid out of a grant they believe they will receive from the VW Settlement for diesel vehicles, which they won’t hear about until August. If the buses are not ordered by the end of April, we will see a significant price increase on May 1 which will be the responsibility of East Chicago to pay. The new language basically provides that a subrecipient may petition for an exception upon adequately showing that the monies are available and are encumbered. It also provides for staff to add additional verification standards as they deem necessary to preserve the integrity of the process and also delegates to the F&P Committee the following of this procedure and the ability to grant the exception without having to seek Board approval. There will be no out of pocket expense to NIRPC as the buses are paid for when they are delivered. If East Chicago does not get the settlement award, they would proceed with the purchase order to NIRPC and they have encumbered the funds in their

budget to be paid out of other funds. Upon a favorable vote today, the F&P Committee is recommending to grant the exception to East Chicago and order their buses. On a motion by Jim Ton and a second by George Topoll, the Executive Board voted to adopt Resolution 19-17 amending the FTA Procurement Procedures Manual as presented.


Indiana Department of Transportation - Rick Powers

Rick Powers reported that INDOT is launching Indiana’s vision of being known as a leader of innovation. He reported on projects and Road School, and said we need to start thinking about what our infrastructure will look like in the future with the onset of autonomous vehicles, and issues of leadership, safety, planning and compliance as INDOT turns 100.


Other Business -

Executive Summary


As part of its transportation planning process as a Metropolitan Planning Organization, NIRPC at least every 4 years is required to develop both a Metropolitan Transportation Plan, a plan of the Northwestern Indiana Region’s priorities for the next few decades, as well as a Transportation Improvement Program, a listing of transportation projects that are consistent with the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. Because NIRPC administers these transportation planning requirements in at least one area designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as nonattainment or maintenance for one or more criteria pollutants in the Clean Air Act (CAA), NIRPC is also subjected to air quality conformity requirements.


The Clean Air Act (CAA) section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7506(c)) requires that federally funded or approved highway and transit activities are consistent with (“conform to”) the purpose of the State Implementation Plan (SIP). Conformity to the purpose of the SIP means that transportation activities will not cause or contribute to new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the relevant NAAQS or any interim milestones (42 U.S.C. 7506(c)(1)). EPA’s air quality conformity rules establish the criteria and procedures for determining whether metropolitan transportation plans (MTPs), transportation improvement programs (TIPs), and federally supported highway and transit projects conform to the SIP (40 CFR Parts 51.390 and 93).


Of the six criteria pollutants regulated by the CAA (Ozone, Particulate Matter, Carbon Monoxide, Lead, Sulfur Dioxide, and Nitrogen Dioxide), only Ozone applies for this Air Quality Conformity Determination Report because it is the only one of the pollutants for which EPA has designated portions of the NIRPC planning area (Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties) nonattainment or maintenance that the ICG has found to have transportation-related emissions contributing to the nonattainment or maintenance designation. The EPA has made area designations for Ozone for the 1997, 2008, and 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQSs). Air quality conformity must be demonstrated for the area designated under each NAAQS, unless an area for a newer designation is completely within the area from an older designation, in which case demonstrating conformity for the larger area is considered adequate for meeting the air quality conformity determination requirements. Lake and Porter Counties are designated as maintenance for the 1997 Ozone NAAQS and nonattainment for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS. Portions of northern Lake County are designated as nonattainment for the 2015 Ozone NAAQS, but since this area is completely within the area designated by the 2008 NAAQS, an air quality conformity determination for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS is adequate for the 2015 NAAQS. LaPorte County is designated maintenance for the 1997 Ozone NAAQS. Per the South Coast Air Quality Management District v. EPA decision and EPA’s Transportation Conformity Guidance for the South Coast II Court Decision, LaPorte County is subjected to less stringent air quality conformity determination requirements.


This Air Quality Conformity Determination Report was completed consistent with CAA requirements, existing associated regulations at 40 CFR Parts 51.390 and 93, and the South Coast II decision, according to EPA’s Transportation Conformity Guidance for the South Coast II Court Decision issued on November 29, 2018.

    1. Background


    2. Air Quality Conformity Process


The concept of air quality conformity was introduced in the Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970, which included a provision to ensure that transportation investments conform to a State implementation plan (SIP) for meeting the Federal air quality standards. Conformity requirements were made substantially more rigorous in the CAA Amendments of 1990. The air quality conformity regulations that detail implementation of the CAA requirements were first issued in November 1993, and have been amended several times. The regulations establish the criteria and procedures for transportation agencies to demonstrate that air pollutant emissions from MTPs, TIPs and projects are consistent with (“conform to”) the State’s air quality goals in the SIP. This document has been prepared for State and local officials who are involved in decision making on transportation investments.


Air quality conformity is required under CAA Section 176(c) to ensure that Federally-supported (though not necessarily federally funded) transportation activities are consistent with (“conform to”) the purpose of a State’s SIP. Air quality conformity establishes the framework for improving air quality to protect public health and the environment. Conformity to the purpose of the SIP means Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding and approvals are given to highway and transit activities that will not cause new air quality violations, worsen existing air quality violations, or delay timely attainment of the relevant air quality standard, or any interim milestone.


Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties were designated as nonattainment for the 1997 Ozone NAAQS effective June 15, 2004 according to 69 FR 23857. On July 19, 2007, LaPorte County was reclassified to attainment with a maintenance plan (became a maintenance area) according to 72 FR 39574. On May 11, 2010, Lake and Porter Counties were reclassified to attainment with a maintenance plan (became a maintenance area) according to 75 FR 26113.


Lake and Porter Counties were designated as nonattainment for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS effective July 20, 2012 according to 77 FR 34221. EPA denied IDEM’s redesignation request for Lake and Porter Counties for attainment on January 9, 2015, so Lake and Porter Counties remain a nonattainment area for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS.


Portions of Lake County (Calumet, Hobart, North, Ross, and St. John Townships) were designated as nonattainment for the 2015 Ozone NAAQS effective August 3, 2018 according to 83 FR 25776. Since these townships are all completely within the 2008 Ozone NAAQS nonattainment area that spans all of Lake and Porter Counties, demonstrating air quality conformity for all of Lake and Porter Counties with respect to the 2008 Ozone NAAQS satisfies the requirement for demonstrating air quality conformity for the Lake County portion of the 2015 Ozone NAAQS.

    1. Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)


      Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) operating fully or in part in NAAQS nonattainment or maintenance areas such as NIRPC are required to develop a metropolitan transportation plan (MTP) at least every 4 years that looks out to a horizon at least 20 years in the future according to 23 CFR Part 450.324.


    2. Northwestern Indiana 2050 Plan (NWI 2050 Plan)


The NWI 2050 Plan is scheduled to be adopted by the NIRPC Full Commission on May 16, 2019.1 This plan satisfies the requirements mentioned in section 2.0 above and upon adoption will be the MTP for the Northwestern Indiana Region that includes all of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties in Indiana.


The NWI 2050 Plan includes the following regionally significant, non-exempt transportation projects completed since the 2017 baseline year subject to the air quality conformity requirements (see Appendix A-2 for Regional Significance Guidance):


1 Available at: http://bit.ly/NWI2050Plan

Table 2.1.1 Air Quality Conformity-Required Projects Included in NWI 2050 Plan


Projects Complete by 2020

Beginning Point

End Point

Sponsor

Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

Non-Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

I 65 Added Travel Lanes

US 30

SR 2

INDOT

2018:

$55,800,000

2018:

$6,200,000

Cline Ave Bridge

Riley Rd Interchange

Michigan Ave Interchange

East Chicago

$0

2019:

$150,000,000

45th Ave Added Center Turn Lane


Chase St


Grant St


Lake County

2016:

$184,780

2016:

$46,195

101st Ave Added Travel Lanes


Georgia St


Mississippi St


Merrillville

2019:

$2,423,000

2019:

$643,546

Parrish Ave Added Center Turn Lane


Joliet St


US 231


St. John

$0

2018:

$1,950,000

Broadway Metro Express

Gary Metro Center

Methodist Southlake Hospital

Gary Public Transportation Corporation

2017:

$7,600,000

2017:

$1,900,000

US 20 Added Center Turn Lane


US 421


US 35/SR 212


INDOT

2018:

$8,961,600

2018:

$2,240,400

US 20

Interchange Modification at US-35/SR 212


Meer Rd


US 35/SR 212

Interchange


INDOT

2018:

$517,600

2018:

$129,400

US 20 New

Interchange at SR 2

1,590 feet from

US 20/SR 2

Interchange

1,590 feet from US- 20/SR-2

Interchange

INDOT

2019:

$9,398,400

2019:

$2,349,600


Projects Complete by 2025

Beginning Point

End Point

Sponsor

Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

Non-Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

US 41 Added Center Turn Lane

Standard Ave

US 231

INDOT

2019:

$3,991,200

2019:

$997,800

SR 49

Consecutive Intersection Improvements


Porter Ave


Gateway Blvd


INDOT

2023:

$10,856,317

2023:

$2,714,079

US 20 Added Center Turn Lane

SR 39

Fail Rd

INDOT

2023:

$14,460,108

2023:

$3,615,027

109th Ave Consecutive Intersection Improvements


SR 53


Iowa St


Crown Point/INDOT

2021:

$2,643,125

2021:

$7,576,875

Gostlin St/Sheffield Ave/Chicago St Added Travel Lanes


Illinois State Line


US 41


Hammond

2020:

$9,400,000

2020:

$2,350,000

45th St Added Center Turn Lane

Whitcomb St

Chase St

Lake County

2020:

$2,255,000

2020:

$563,750

Mississippi St Added Travel Lanes


93rd Ave


101st Ave


Merrillville

2020:

$3,612,000

2020:

$903,250

45th St Grade Separation and Realignment

0.3 miles West of Calumet Ave


Southwood Dr


Munster

2019:

$16,800,000

2019:

$4,843,293

93rd Ave Added Center Turn Lane

White Oak Ave

US 41

St. John

$0

2024:

$3,487,347

109th Ave Added Center Turn Lane

Calumet Ave

US 41

St. John

$0

2024:

$3,812,928

Calumet Ave Added Center Turn Lane


101st Ave


109th Ave


St. John

$0

2024:

$3,398,710

Kennedy Ave Expansion

Oak St

US 30

Schererville

2024:

$12,465,179

2024:

$3,116,295

Vale Park Rd Extension

Winter Park Dr

Windsor Tr

Valparaiso

$0

2020:

$4,480,000

South Shore Line Double Track

Tennessee St

Michigan Blvd

NICTD

$0

2022:

$388,603,154

West Lake Corridor commuter rail service

Hammond Gateway Station


Main St - Munster/Dyer


NICTD

$0

2022:

$768,335,733


Projects Complete by 2030


Beginning Point

End Point

Sponsor

Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

Non- Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

US 41 Added Center Turn Lane


US 231


SR 2


INDOT

2028:

$36,877,815

2028:

$9,219,454

Main St Extension

Burnham Ave (Illinois)

Columbia Ave/Sheffield Ave


Munster

2028:

$2,631,548

2028:

$657,887

Willowcreek Rd Extension

700 N

SR 130

Porter County

2025:

$4,617,000

2025:

$1,188,000

85th Ave Added Center Turn Lane


US 41


Parrish Ave


St. John

$0

2028:

$5,828,139

93rd Ave Added Travel Lanes

Calumet Ave

Cline Ave

St. John

$0

2028:

$36,217,098

109th Ave Added Travel Lanes


Calumet Ave


US 41


St. John

$0

2028:

$10,220,018

Blaine Ave Added Center Turn Lane


93rd Ave


101st Ave


St. John

$0

2028:

$5,438,393

Calumet Ave Added Travel Lanes


101st Ave


109th Ave


St. John

$0

2028:

$9,906,218

Cline Ave Added Travel Lanes


101st Ave


109th Ave


St. John

$0

2028:

$4,513,833

White Oak Ave Added Center Turn Lane


93rd Ave


101st Ave


St. John

$0

2028:

$7,051,199

Kennedy Ave Added Travel Lanes


Main St


Oak St


Schererville

2025:

$4,936,400

2025:

$1,234,100

Vale Park Rd Added Center Turn Lane


Calumet Ave


Silhavy Rd


Valparaiso

2027:

$3,423,275

2027:

$855,819


Projects Complete by 2040


Beginning Point

End Point

Sponsor

Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

Non- Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

Division Rd Added Center Turn Lane


Sturdy Rd


375 E


Valparaiso

2038:

$2,868,640

2040:

$717,160

LaPorte County North-South Connector


SR 39


US 35


LaPorte County

2035:

$104,000,000

2035:

$26,000,000



Projects Complete by 2050


Beginning Point

End Point

Sponsor

Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

Non- Federal Estimated Cost (YOE)

Division Rd Added Center Turn Lane


SR 2


Sturdy Rd

Valparaiso/Porter County

2048:

$6,151,100

2048:

$1,537,775


    1. Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)


      Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) such as NIRPC are required to develop a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which is a listing of FHWA and FTA funded transportation projects, covering a period of at least 4 years and in cooperation with the state and public transit providers according to 23 CFR Part 450.326. MPOs in Indiana produce TIPs covering 5 years.


    2. 2020 to 2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)


The 2020 to 2024 Transportation Improvement Program (2020-2024 TIP) is scheduled to be adopted by the NIRPC Full Commission on May 16, 2019.2 The 2020-2024 TIP satisfies the requirements mentioned in section 3.0 above and upon adoption will be the TIP for the Northwestern Indiana Region that includes all of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties in Indiana.


The 2020-2024 TIP includes all federally funded projects in the State Fiscal Years 2020 to 2024 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024) but does not include all of the projects listed in Table 2.1.1 above, namely those beyond the year 2024 or those that are not federally funded.


2 Available at http://bit.ly/20-24TIP

4.0 Air Quality Conformity Determination: General Process


Generally, demonstrating air quality conformity between an MTP/TIP and a SIP means showing that regionally significant, non-exempt highway and transit projects will not cause new air quality violations, worsen existing air quality violations, or delay timely attainment of the relevant air quality standard, or any interim milestone. The State of Indiana developed a Regional Significance Guidance document included in Appendix A-2 that satisfies the 40 CFR Part 93.101 definition of regionally significant project. A non- exempt project is any project not included as an exempt project type in 40 CFR Part 93.126. Thus, demonstrating air quality conformity is required for any transportation project that meets the Regional Significance Guidance and that is not on the list of exempt projects.


In nonattainment or maintenance areas for transportation-related criteria pollutants, demonstrating air quality conformity is required for all newly adopted MTPs and TIPs, and for any amendments to MTPs or TIPs that include regionally significant, non-exempt projects. Since the NWI 2050 Plan is a newly adopted MTP and the 2020-2024 TIP is a newly adopted TIP, it is necessary to demonstrate air quality conformity to the SIP with respect to the applicable criteria pollutants and their associated precursors. In this case the only applicable criteria pollutant is Ozone, which includes Nitrous Oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) as precursors.

    1. Requirements


    2. Overview


      The air quality conformity regulation at 40 CFR 93.109 sets forth the criteria and procedures for demonstrating air quality conformity. The air quality conformity criteria for MTPs and TIPs include: latest planning assumptions (93.110), latest emissions model (93.111), consultation (93.112), transportation control measures (93.113(b) and (c), fiscal constraint, consistency with motor vehicle emissions budgets in the SIP, and regional emissions analysis or interim emissions test (93.118 and/or 93.119).


      For the 1997 Ozone NAAQS areas that are not designated nonattainment or maintenance for either the 2008 Ozone NAAQS or 2015 Ozone NAAQS (i.e. LaPorte County), air quality conformity can be demonstrated with only the latest planning assumptions, consultation, transportation control measures, and fiscal constraint requirements per 40 CFR 93.109(c) and the EPA Transportation Conformity Guidance for the South Coast II Court Decision.3 Thus, all of the additional requirements in the previous paragraph only are applied to demonstrating air quality conformity with respect to Lake and Porter Counties in this Air Quality Conformity Determination Report.


    3. Latest Planning Assumptions


Use of the latest planning assumptions in demonstrating air quality conformity is required per 40 CFR

93.110 of the Transportation Conformity Rule. Use of the latest planning assumptions ensures that the underlying assumptions and data that are inputted into the regional emissions analysis accurately reflect the planning assumptions of the region demonstrating air quality conformity. As part of the NWI 2050 Plan and 2020 to 2024 TIP development, the Northwestern Indiana Region developed demographic forecasts for population and employment growth as shown on Table 5.2.1.


Table 5.2.1 Demographic Baseline and Forecasts for Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties

Year

Population

Households

Employment

2017

766,924

291,750

286,970

2020

773,689

294,313

292,121

2025

784,974

298,567

300,688

2030

796,251

302,838

309,281

2040

818,813

311,378

326,436

2050

841,382

319,903

343,604


Population forecasts are based on the baseline 2017 year as found in the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2013-2017 Estimates Table B01003. The 2050 horizon year population forecast is based on an average of 5 different sources that have already conducted population forecasts for the NWI Region: INDOT Statewide Travel Demand Model, INDOT REMI PI+ 2.0 Model, Woods & Poole Economics, Inc., Louis Berger Group (for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning), and the Indiana Business Research Center.4 The interim years between the 2017 baseline year and the 2050 horizon


3 Available from https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-11/documents/420b18050.pdf

4 INDOT Statewide Travel Demand Model, INDOT REMI PI+ 2.0 Model, and Woods & Poole Economics, Inc. population forecasts were emailed to NIRPC by INDOT on October 11, 2017 and have privacy restrictions- these forecasts are technically for a 2045 horizon year that is extrapolated out to 2050 based on a linear trend model of fit; Louis Berger Group forecasts are available at https://datahub.cmap.illinois.gov/dataset/89f66569- 5f51-4c14-8b02-5ecc1ca00909/resource/a812de2f-d465-47f2-87df-

year are extrapolated from a simple linear trend model of fit. Household forecasts are based on the baseline 2017 year as found in the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2013-2017 Estimates Table S1101. All other years are based on the number of persons per household for each county found by dividing the county’s population by its number of households. Employment forecasts are based on the baseline 2017 year as found in the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) State and County Wages series annual average employment. The 2050 horizon year employment forecast is based on an average of 4 different sources that have already conducted employment forecasts for the NWI Region: INDOT Statewide Travel Demand Model, INDOT REMI PI+ 2.0 Model, Woods & Poole Economics, Inc., and Louis Berger Group (for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning).5 The interim years between the 2017 baseline year and the 2050 horizon year are extrapolated from a simple linear trend model of fit.


The Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) data provides the basis or an analysis of the growth in Vehicle-Miles of Travel as shown on Table 5.2.2.


0427e81da2cf/download/CMAPSocioeconomicForecastFinal-Report04Nov2016.pdf; Indiana Business Research Center forecasts available at http://www.stats.indiana.edu/pop_proj/

5 INDOT Statewide Travel Demand Model, INDOT REMI PI+ 2.0 Model, and Woods & Poole Economics, Inc. forecasts were emailed to NIRPC by INDOT on October 11, 2017 and have privacy restrictions- these forecasts are technically for a 2045 horizon year that is extrapolated out to 2050 based on a linear trend model of fit; Louis Berger Group forecasts are available at https://datahub.cmap.illinois.gov/dataset/89f66569-5f51- 4c14-8b02-5ecc1ca00909/resource/a812de2f-d465-47f2-87df- 0427e81da2cf/download/CMAPSocioeconomicForecastFinal-Report04Nov2016.pdf


Table 5.2.2 Growth in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties

Year

Daily VMT Estimate (HPMS)

Annual Rate of Growth

1992

17,722,061

1993

18,160,891

2.48%

1994

18,663,552

2.77%

1995

19,847,112

6.34%

1996

19,842,716

-0.02%

1997

21,058,741

6.13%

1998

21,638,065

2.75%

1999

21,249,847

-1.79%

2000

21,527,000

1.33%

2001

21,987,000

2.11%

2002

22,147,635

0.73%

2003

22,201,000

0.24%

2004

22,154,000

-0.21%

2005

22,216,000

0.28%

2006

22,305,000

0.40%

2007

22,397,000

13.95%

2008

21,792,000

-13.96%

2009

26,507,120

21.21%

2010

20,359,000

-23.19%

2011

26,545,000

30.38%

2012

25,461,000

-4.08%

2013

26,066,000

2.37%

2014

26,797,850

2.81%

2015

29,805,800

11.22%

2016

30,858,000

3.53%

2017

31,044,000

0.60%


Based on this data, the actual annual rate of growth of travel can be determined. For the three-county area as shown in Table 5.2.2, the rates range from -23.19% to 30.38% between 1992 and 2017. Over this period, the annual rate of daily VMT growth is 2.27%.


Vehicle registration data have been received from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. These data are split by vehicle type, and have an associated date of approximately December 31, 2014. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management provided vehicle age information for cars and light trucks, from the application of a vehicle identification number (VIN) decoder as well as registrations by vehicle type directly from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This vehicle registration data have been used in MOVES, reflecting vehicle fleet age by vehicle type for smaller vehicles. For larger vehicle types, default data have been determined to be the best available fleet age information.


The methods and assumptions for the transportation network model in the regional emissions analysis are included in the NIRPC Travel Demand Model Documentation Report.6


6 Available at https://www.nirpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/NIRPC-Travel-Demand-Model.pdf


    1. Latest Emissions Model


      For demonstrating air quality conformity for the Lake and Porter Counties 2008 Ozone NAAQS, the MOVES2014a model has been used for this Air Quality Conformity Determination Report. Although technically the MOVES2014b is the latest emissions model, EPA allows MOVES2014a to satisfy the latest emissions model requirements for air quality conformity purposes.7 The latest emissions model requirement does not apply to demonstrating air quality conformity for the 1997 Ozone NAAQS with respect to LaPorte County as mentioned in the EPA Transportation Conformity Guidance for the South Coast II Court Decision. The Motor Vehicles Emissions Budgets (MVEB) for 2008 Ozone NAAQS with respect to Lake and Porter Counties are based on the INDOT Air Quality Post-Processor (AQPP), which combines inputs from the NIRPC Travel Demand Model and MOVES2014a.


    2. Consultation Requirements


      The consultation requirements in 40 CFR 93.112 were addressed both for interagency consultation and public consultation.


      Interagency consultation was conducted with NIRPC, INDOT, IDEM, FHWA, FTA, and EPA. NIRPC sent an email to representatives from each of these agencies with a draft copy of this Air Quality Conformity Determination Report on March 22, 2019. Representatives from each of these agencies offered feedback and recommended edits as appropriate and during a teleconference call on March 29, 2019, and these are reflected in this Air Quality Conformity Determination Report. Interagency consultation was conducted consistent with the Indiana Conformity SIP. See section 7.1 for details of the interagency consultation correspondence.


      Public consultation was conducted consistent with planning rule requirements in 23 CFR 450. NIRPC followed its 2014 Public Participation Plan.8 The Air Quality Conformity Determination Report was made available to public comment on the NIRPC website from April 1, 2019 to April 30, 2019, fulfilling the 30- day public comment period that the 2014 Public Participation Requires for Conformity Determinations. No comments were received.


    3. Timely Implementation of TCMs


      The Indiana SIP with respect to Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties does not include any TCMs.


    4. Fiscal Constraint


      Air quality conformity requirements in 40 CFR 93.108 state that transportation plans and TIPs must be fiscally constrained consistent with DOT’s metropolitan planning regulations at 23 CFR part 450. The NWI 2050 Plan and 2020-2024 TIP are fiscally constrained, as demonstrated in the Action Plan section of the NWI 2050 Plan9 and section Fiscal Constraint section of the 2020-2024 TIP.10


      7 See https://www.epa.gov/moves/latest-version-motor-vehicle-emission-simulator-moves

      8 Available at https://nirpc.org/media/48081/nirpc_2014_ppp_final_adopted_12.11.2014.pdf

      9 Available at http://bit.ly/NWI2050Plan

      10 Available at http://bit.ly/20-24TIP

    5. Consistency with the Motor vehicle emissions budgets in the SIP


      This Air Quality Conformity Determination Report is prepared consistent with the applicable EPA-approved Motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEB) for the Ozone precursors of NOx and VOC. The MVEB are based on prior consultation between members of the Interagency Consultation Group on Air Quality (see Acknowledgments section) and are formulated using the latest emissions model and the NIRPC Travel Demand Model. Table 5.9.1 shows the MVEB for the applicable analysis years in the Regional Emissions Analysis. The consistency with the Motor vehicle emissions budgets requirement does not apply to demonstrating air quality conformity for the 1997 Ozone NAAQS with respect to LaPorte County as mentioned in the EPA Transportation Conformity Guidance for the South Coast II Court Decision.


    6. Regional Emissions Analysis Methodology


      The regional emissions analysis applicable to Lake and Porter Counties has estimated emissions of VOC and NOX as ozone precursors. The regional emissions analysis includes estimates of emissions from the entire transportation system, including all regionally significant, non-exempt projects contained in the NWI 2050 Plan (see Table 2.1.1) and all other regionally significant, non-exempt highway and transit projects expected in the nonattainment area in the time frame of the transportation plan. Table 5.9.1 shows that regional emissions for the ozone precursors fall at or below the budgets in the State Implementation Plan for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS with respect to Lake and Porter Counties.


      The emissions analysis methodology meets the requirements of 40 CFR 93.122(b) of the Transportation Conformity Rule, for air quality conformity determinations based on estimates of regional transportation-related emissions completed after January 1, 1997.


      Implementation of the Lake and Porter County projects in the NWI 2050 Plan and 2020-2024 TIP results in motor vehicle emissions that are at or below the levels of the applicable Motor vehicle emissions budgets, as shown in Table 5.9.1.


      The regional emissions analysis for the transportation projects includes calculations of vehicle emissions at the aggregate level for the entire transportation system, including all regionally significant, non-exempt projects expected in the nonattainment area. The analysis includes FHWA/FTA-funded projects proposed in the NWI 2050 Plan, all Indiana Toll Road projects and all other regionally significant, non-exempt projects which are disclosed to NIRPC (see Table 2.1.1 for the complete list). Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) from projects which are not regionally significant and non-exempt are estimated in accordance with reasonable professional practice, using the NIRPC Travel Demand Model.


      The regional emissions analysis does not include any TCM. The regional emissions analysis does not include emissions reduction credit from projects, programs, activities, or control measures which require a regulatory action in order to be implemented.


      Ambient temperatures used for the regional emissions analysis are consistent with those used to estimate the emissions in 2017. All other factors, for example the fraction of travel in a hot stabilized engine mode, are consistently applied.


      Reasonable methods have been used to estimate nonattainment area VMT on off-network roadways within the urban transportation planning area, and on roadways outside the urban transportation planning area. For 2017, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2040, and 2050, estimates of regional transportation-related emissions used to support the conformity determination have been made using the MOVES2014a post-processor updated with the latest vehicle registration data. Regional transportation-related emissions estimates are included for 2011

      since 2011 appears in the Lake and Porter Counties 2008 Ozone NAAQS attainment demonstration.


      Land use, population, employment, and other network-based travel model assumptions have been documented based on the best available information (see Section 5.3). The distribution of population, households, and employment is based on prior 5-year moving averages of those trends in each of the 380 Travel Analysis Zones (TAZs) in Lake and Porter Counties and is a reasonable state of the practice.


      A capacity-sensitive assignment methodology has been used, and emissions estimates are based on a methodology, which differentiates between peak and off-peak link volumes and speeds, and uses speeds based on final assigned volumes, post-processed in the database. TAZ-to-TAZ travel impedances used to distribute trips between origin and destination pairs are in reasonable agreement with the travel times that are estimated from final assigned traffic volumes, using a feedback procedure iterated five times. These times have also been used for modeling mode splits. The network-based travel model is reasonably sensitive to changes in the time(s), cost(s), and other factors affecting travel choices. Reasonable methods in accordance with good practice have been used to estimate traffic speeds and delays in a manner that is sensitive to the estimated volume of travel on each roadway segment represented in the network-based travel model. Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) estimates of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) are considered the primary measure of VMT within the portion of the nonattainment area and for the functional classes of roadways included in the nonattainment area.


      The regional emissions analysis requirement does not apply to demonstrating air quality conformity for the 1997 Ozone NAAQS with respect to LaPorte County as mentioned in the EPA Transportation Conformity Guidance for the South Coast II Court Decision.


    7. Regional Emissions Analysis Results


Table 5.9.1 shows the Regional Emissions Analysis Results for demonstrating air quality conformity between the NWI 2050 Plan and 2020 to 2024 TIP and the Indiana SIP for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS with respect to Lake and Porter Counties.


Table 5.9.1 Regional Emissions Analysis for Lake and Porter Counties - 2008 Ozone NAAQS

Year:

2011

2017

2020

2025

2030

2040

2050

NOx Budget

28.41

16.68

16.68

16.68

16.68

16.68

16.68

NOx Emissions

24.70

12.85

13.01

8.53

6.62

5.23

5.34

VOC Budget

11.02

6.85

6.85

6.85

6.85

6.85

6.85

VOC Emission

9.58

6.07

6.18

4.91

3.77

2.59

2.57


As shown in Table 5.9.1, baseline and forecasted emissions for the Ozone precursors of NOx and VOC are at or below the motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) in the Indiana SIP. Therefore, air quality conformity is demonstrated for the NWI 2050 Plan and 2020-2024 TIP for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS with respect to Lake and Porter Counties. Per the EPA Transportation Conformity Guidance for the South Coast II Court Decision, air quality conformity is demonstrated for the NWI 2050 Plan and 2020-2024 TIP for the 1997 Ozone NAAQS with respect to LaPorte County without a regional emissions analysis. Only the latest planning assumptions, consultation, transportation control measures, and fiscal constraint are required to demonstrate air quality conformity with respect to LaPorte County.

6.0 Conclusion


The air quality conformity determination process completed for the Northwestern Indiana 2050 Plan (NWI 2050 Plan) and the 2020 to 2024 Transportation Improvement Program (2020-2024 TIP) demonstrates that these planning documents meet the Clean Air Act and Transportation Conformity Rule requirements for the applicable National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

    1. Appendices


    2. Appendix A-1: Interagency Consultation Group Correspondence


      NIRPC staff emailed members of the Interagency Consultation Group on Air Quality, comprised of NIRPC, INDOT, IDEM, FHWA, FTA, and EPA, a draft of this Air Quality Conformity Determination Report on March 22, 2019.


      On March 26, 2019, Anthony Maietta of EPA, and Shawn Seals of IDEM, notified Scott Weber of NIRPC, that the motor vehicle emissions budgets developed for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS with respect to Lake and Porter Counties supersede the Motor vehicle emissions budgets developed for the 1997 Ozone NAAQS with respect to Lake and Porter Counties. Anthony Maeitta and Shawn Seals also notified Scott Weber that demonstrating Air quality conformity to the 2008 Ozone NAAQS with respect to all of Lake and Porter Counties fulfills the requirement to demonstrate Air quality conformity to the 2015 Ozone NAAQS with respect to 5 townships in Lake County since those townships are completely within the Lake and Porter Counties geography for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS and since there are no motor vehicle emissions budgets yet for the 2015 Ozone NAAQS geography.


      On March 29, 2019, there was an Interagency Consultation Group on Air Quality teleconference call. Scott Weber and Trey Wadsworth of NIRPC, Frank Baukert and Stephanie Belch of INDOT, Shawn Seals of IDEM, Joyce Newland of FHWA, and Anthony Maietta of EPA participated. All parties agreed with the project list in Table 2.1.1 upon hearing NIRPC’s explanation that it included all of the draft STIP INDOT projects as well as Local Public Agency projects that NIRPC staff had heard about from reaching out to the Employees in Responsible Charge (ERCs). All parties agreed with the draft report in terms of the Requirements in Section 5. Scott Weber thanked Anthony Maeitta and Shawn Seals for their correspondence on March 26, 2019 in regards to clarifying which motor vehicle emissions budgets apply to this air quality conformity determination. Joyce Newland asked that all members of the ICG receive the link to the Federal Register and the motor vehicle emissions budgets for Lake and Porter Counties for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS. Shawn Seals responded that he would email the link out to the members of the ICG. Scott Weber thanked Frank Baukert for providing the updated INDOT HPMS Adjustment Fractions and asked that since he had only recently received them from INDOT and did not yet have all of the Air Quality Modeling results using them, that the ICG grant him additional time to revise the emissions in Table 5.9.1 using these latest HPMS Adjustment Fractions. The ICG agreed with Scott Weber’s request given information from Scott that when he modeled the 2020 emissions based on the updated HPMS Adjustment Fractions, the emissions only changed by a few hundredths of a ton per summer day. The ICG agreed with NIRPC’s planned public comment period and upcoming adoption schedule for this Air Quality Conformity Determination Report as well as the NWI 2050 Plan and 2020-2024 TIP.


      NIRPC staff posted this Air Quality Conformity Determination Report document to the NIRPC website for public comment on April 1, 2019 through April 30, 2019. No comments were received.

    3. Appendix A-2: Regional Significance Guidance

      image


      image


      image

      Public Comment Report

      NWI 2050 Plan | April 1, 2019


      The draft of the NWI 2050 Plan was released for a 30-day public comment period beginning April 1, 2019. A draft of the document was made available at www.nirpc.org and emailed to stakeholders. There were four public hearings: Hammond (4/22), Gary (4/23), Michigan City (4/24), and Valparaiso (4/25).

      The comments and responses to the draft are listed below. An update will also be provided at the NIRPC Commission meeting on May 16, 2019.

      NWI 2050 Plan Draft Comments & Responses


      image


      Commenter: Thomas Fath

      Comment: Is the Westville Correctional Facility is included in the population of Westville? Response: Yes, these numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau which takes into account correctional facilties. See the attached documentation for further reference: https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/technical- documentation/methodology/2010-2017/2017-su-meth.pdf

      Significant Comment? No

      Need to Modify? No

      image


      Commenter: Tyson Lagoni

      Comment: I strongly encourage the plan to prioritize preserving open green space as that is incredibly important to our unique sense of place and quality of life in the region.

      Response: Thanks for your feedback. The Action Plan chapter includes several recommendations and strategies that support the preservation of green space. Significant Comment? No

      Need to Modify? No


      Commenter: Betsy Tracy

      Comment: I would like to be added to your contact list.

      Response: Thank you for reaching out to us. You have been added to our mailing list.

      Significant Comment? No

      Need to Modify? No

      Commenter: Regina Ruddell

      Comment: I am on the Westville Town Council and I support the action plan of the NWI 2050 Plan. It brings home the need, once again, that LaPorte County should have been a part of the RDA initially.

      Response: Thank you for your support for the Action Plan.

      Significant Comment? No

      Need to Modify? No


      Commenter: Labrada Dunham

      Comment: I support the plan. I wonder what will Gary become? 1. Will the city of Gary become a large electrical panel Grid for Northwest Indiana's Transportation plan? 2. Since most of the redevelopment has already began South and South West of Gary what will the citizens of Gary have in return? 3. What is the Transportation plan for the seniors in Gary? *Please note that Mayor Karen Freeman - Wilson cannot speak for every citizen in Gary and say they are satisfied walking to a corner and getting on a bus. 4. I would like to see a Senior Center for the Senior Citizens in Gary similar to the one in Hobart but larger. 5. I would like to see a facility with programs for teenagers that include a roller rink, baseball field, Volley ball area, and bowling alley for the youth. 6. The facility should be centrally located like at Roosevelt High School. I would like to see a community center that includes the children and has after school programs.

      *Please note there is still a lot of money in the pockets of the citizens of Gary. Asking for recreation facilities for seniors and youth is nothing when all of our hard earned money will be going South and Southwest. Give Gary something besides a big boat!! I have been to the Hartsfield village in Munster. I have been to Hobart's Senior facility at the school. Gary will lose a lot and buses don't come to your house and they do not run forever. Seattle Washington has a program for seniors with disabilities. This program called Sound Generations has free transportation through Medicare for seniors with disabilities. They use a company called Hyde Shuttles. Hyde Shuttles will pick up seniors from their house at no out of pocket cost. At the age of 85 years with no drivers license, many Senior Citizens in Gary will not be able to walk to a corner and stand on a bus stop in the rain and snow to go to a grocery store. What is your transportation plan for the senior citizens in Gary?

      Response: Thank you for your support and comments. The following are the answers to your questions: 1. Will the city of Gary become a large electrical panel Grid for Northwest Indiana's Transportation plan? Answer: As discussed in the NWI 2050 Plan, there will be an increase in the number of electric vehicles on our region's roads. Regardless of how our region's key stakeholders view electric vehicles, many of the world's largest automakers have pledged either fully or largely electrified vehicle fleets in the not so distant future. In order to accommodate the increase in demand for electric vehicles, all of our cities and towns will need to expand their charging infrastructure. The City of Gary would not be uniquely burdened with this responsibility, and there are still opportunities for grants and attracting private investment toward expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure." 2. What is the Transportation plan for the seniors in Gary? *Please note that Mayor Karen Freeman - Wilson cannot speak for every citizen in Gary and say they are satisfied walking to a corner and getting on a bus. Answers: NIRPC developed a Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan in 2018. The purpose of the plan is to improve the accessibility of the overall transit system in Northwestern Indiana to individuals with disabilities, people who are low income, and people who are elderly. The plan has to be coordinated and written in order to receive Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities funding from the FTA. The 2050 plan Action Plan includes number of strategies that are driven from the above plan and here is the link of this plan: https://www.nirpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Coordinated-transit-plan-for-NWI.pdf Answer to Comments 2, 4, 5, and 6: Currently, the City of Gary is working on developing a new

      comprehensive plan for the city. It is a good timing now to provide feedbacks to the City staff regarding the future of Gary.

      Significant Comment? No

      Need to Modify? No


      Commenter: Michigan City Public Hearing Participant – Comment Made by Form Comment: Pg. 97 - "Preservation of a traditional community" - Traditionally people with disabilities have been excluded and institutionalized, not accepted in community... How will NIRPC encourage, promote, inclusivity, integration, acceptance of all?

      Response: Thank you for your feedback. The entire strategy in question reads: “Develop form- based code rezoning to allow higher densities and mixed-uses to create more livable communities and maintain more human scale environment and spaces with the preservation of a traditional community character.” In this context, the strategy is referring to the “traditional character” of communities - not the outdated nature of traditional building practices in infrastructure. The “traditional character” in question, is primarily referring to the “look and feel” of a community’s downtown with pedestrian-scaled storefronts, lighting, sidewalks, and other essential components to create a welcoming environment for individuals regardless of their physical abilities. However, in the spirit of your comments we have revised the language to respect the nature of the word “traditional” in regards to individuals with disabilities. The passage will now read: “Develop form-based code rezoning to allow higher densities and mixed- uses to create more livable communities and maintain more human scale environment and spaces that create an inclusive, accessible, and pedestrian-focused community character.”

      In regards to the rest of your question, the NWI 2050 Plan addresses furthering the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, both in broad conceptual terms as well as through specific strategies to be implemented. The guiding framework for NWI 2050 Plan were four vision statements established through extensive public outreach: Connected, Renewed, United, and Vibrant.

      These four vision statements became the backbone of plan goals, strategies, and even scoring criteria for projects that may receive federal funding. The vision statement for “Connected,” is the most related to accessibility for people with disabilities: “NWI’s people have accessible, safe, and equal opportunities, for working, playing, living, and learning.” This is a vision statement that guides the direction of the plan from today through 2050. Further, these four vision statements were matched with the four planning focus areas: Economy and Place, Environment, Mobility, and People and Leaders. Together, the vision statements and plan focus areas create sixteen unique critical paths that are a guiding source for the plan. The critical paths that are directly related to accessibility for people with disabilities are:

      • Update land development policies and strategies to emphasize accessibility between people and opportunities

      • Complete roadway, bicycle, sidewalk, and transit networks across municipal and county lines to enhance safe and efficient access to opportunities for all.

      • Commit to removing barriers and obstacles to guarantee equal and accessible opportunities


        In terms of individual strategies, several of the strategies identified in NWI 2050 Plan address accessibility. The following is a list of all strategies that directly reference the needs of individuals with disabilities, however several other strategies also address the needs of people with disabilities, albeit indirectly.

      • Promote importance of natural area protection, connectivity and accessibility with local governments and agencies to encourage local implementation.

      • Improve the accessibility of transit by using universal design standards when developing new transit infrastructure like bus stops and other signage.

      • Increase the accessibility and overall ridership of the transit network by implementing the ADA transition plans and improving its transparency so transit operators can coordinate with their goals, and region residents are aware of the plan.

      • Improve accessibility to the transportation system for all users by expanding shared mobility awareness and opportunities regionally.

      • Incorporate when feasible universal designs standards for non-motorized access.

      • Work with local entities on the development of a sidewalk maintenance plan which inventories facilities in need of repair or missing segments.

      • Prioritize transit investments that connect communities in environmental justice areas, people who are elderly, low-income, people with disabilities, and veterans.

      • Improve the accessibility of regional pedestrian and transit infrastructure by allocating funding for the implementation of locally-developed ADA transition plans, and incorporating universal design standards so all public infrastructure meets or exceeds ADA standards.

      • Monitor and update ADA transition plans by LPAs with NIRPC assistance on a routine basis.

      • Hold annual workshops training for local officials on benefits of universal design and Complete Streets, including policy development.

      • Improve safety through street design standards and traffic calming treatments to accommodate the movement of pedestrian, bicyclists, elderly people, and other vulnerable users.

      • Improve economic opportunity for prosperity particularly for EJ residents and people with disabilities to ensure that NWI is a destination for business and diverse human capital.


Lastly, the NWI 2050 Plan also has already taken steps for the further inclusion of individuals with disabilities. One method of evaluating possible transportation projects to invest in was to was to use available data on where individuals with disabilities live to contribute to NIRPC’s Environmental Justice analysis. Now, a project that is eligible for federal funding can receive a higher priority is located where it may have a higher chance of benefiting individuals with disabilities. Likewise, nearly every project seeking federal funds has to describe how the project will utilize universal design standards, or advance ADA transition plans to also get additional points in its evaluation. The NWI 2050 Plan also added a new project type to the TIP with a dedicated funding source. “Transportation Projects for ADA compliance with Universal Design,” is a project type nestled within the Complete Streets program. This project type targets federal funds specifically for the implementation of strategies defined in a municipality’s federally- required ADA transition plan.

Significant Comment? No

Need to Modify? Yes: Page 97. Instead of reading: “Develop form-based code rezoning to allow higher densities and mixed-uses to create more livable communities and maintain more human scale environment and spaces with the preservation of a traditional community character." Please revise to: “Develop form-based code rezoning to allow higher densities and mixed-uses to create more livable communities and maintain more human scale environment

and spaces that create an inclusive, accessible, and pedestrian-focused community character.”

Commenter: Michigan City Public Hearing Participant – Comment Made by Form Comment: Include affordable and accessible housing - want to see an increase of accessible housing.

Response: Thank you for your comment. The word "accessible" will be added where affordable housing is referenced and recommended.

Significant Comment? No

Need to Modify? Accessible added where affordable housing is referenced.


Commenter: Clarence Hulse

Comment: Improve: state and county road snow removal technology; roadway reflectors / lines non-existent; signage to communities.

Response: Thank you for your comment. The Plan prioritizes federal transportation funds for use throughout the region for eligible activities. Snow removal, as an activity, is not eligible for federal funding, however purchasing new vehicles replacing older models, like snow plows, that improve air quality can be eligible under certain funding programs, specifically Congestion Mitigation Air Quality. The rest of the activities mentioned primarily relate to the “Roadway Improvements” category of funding within the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program. In the next five years, the Region is expected to spend over $48 million on roadway improvement projects, similar to what you described. By 2050, the region is expected to commit over $550 million on roadway improvements.

Significant Comment? No

Need to Modify? No


Commenter: Zully JF Alvarado

Comment: Some comments were given during public session, I will add to those. pg. 97. #2 High Schools need to be included as not all students pursue higher education, vocational training as part of transition plan for students with disabilities; #8 housing besides being affordable needs to be accessible and integrated/inclusive; Pg. 103 #9 Vocational Rehabilitation Centers; Pg. 106 #6 at best where readily achievable that it comply with ADA Standards; #7 sidewalks and curb cuts/ramps functional auditory signaling; Pg. 110 #6 based on accessibility; see page 111 #7 is repeated; Pg. 130 #1 to increase affordable, accessible housing

#2 to promote an inclusive, healthy environment ...; #3 by promoting universally designed placemaking in addition to local artists include accessibility specialists; Pg. 131 #1 include the words: people with disabilities, avoid language such as : vulnerable populations. Who creates the vulnerable populations but society?; Pg. 138 ecourage businesses to apply universal design principles when establishing new businesses, to comply and go beyond minimum ADA Standards in existing businesses; Support Employment First Coalition and Self-Employment of persons with disabilities; Pg 139 # 10. allows for sufficient, accessible...; #13. include as a place to find the most qualified and dedicated employees; Pg. 141 paragraph next to Project Evaluation Criteria, instead of ...their is best? should read theirs is best?

Response: Thank you for your comments and support. Your suggestions and comments have been edited into the Plan where they were noted. Additional language and strategies have been included based on your comments: (see page 111 #7 is repeated) – Thank you for identifying the repeat error, the change has been made and now the language under People and Leaders Pg.111 #7 states: Provide technical assistance for TOD. New strategy added to Connected/Plan for smart land uses and quality of place/People and Leaders pg. 98 #23 - Encourage businesses to apply universal design principles when establishing new businesses, to comply and go beyond minimum ADA Standards in existing businesses. New strategy added to Renewed/Plan for Main Centers & Transit-Oriented Development/People and Leaders pg.111

#8 - Support Employment First Coalition and Self-Employment of persons with disabilities.

Significant Comment? No

Need to Modify? Yes: pg.97. #2 - Add “high schools, vocational schools,” universities… to strategy; Pg.97 #8 – Add to this strategy: Provide incentives to developers to include affordable, “accessible, integrated and inclusive” housing as part of the development of market- rate housing.; Pg. 103 #9 – Add “vocational rehabilitation centers” to list of destinations.; Pg.

106 #6 – Add to this strategy: Incorporate when feasible Universal Designs standards for non- motorized access “that comply with ADA standards.”; Pg. 106 #7 – Add to this strategy: Work with local entities on the development of a sidewalk maintenance plan which inventories facilities in need of repair or missing segments, “sidewalks and curb cuts/ramps and functional auditory signaling.”; Pg. 110 #6 - Add “accessibility” to list; **Pg.111 #7 under People and Leaders – Change strategy language to say “Provide technical assistance for TOD.”; Pg. 130 #1

In conclusion, I urge NIRPC to:

  1. Add the missing Lake County Veterans Trail project phases as required by FHWA;

  2. Remove the City of Valparaiso project from the 2020-2024 TIP, divide the intersection improvement project from the tunnel project and rescore each project to determine each project’s viability;

  3. Verify the City of Gary 5th Avenue On-road Trail project has concurrence with the right-of-way owner, INDOT to make significant changes to the roadway;

  4. Provide project costs for those projects listed in the Air Quality Conformity Report, particularly those in the 2025-2030 TIP cycle;

  5. Provide a greater focus on roadway and bridge rehabilitation project in future NOFAs;

  6. determine a format where LPA’s can participate more openly in the project selection by providing access to project applications in an off-line format; and

  7. provide proper time to review actions and realistic timelines in order to meet deadlines.


Thank you again for the opportunity to prepare comments regarding the NWI 2050 Plan. Should you have any questions regarding the information contained in this comment, please contact me at your convenience at 219-853-6336.


Sincerely,

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Dean Button, PE Hammond City Engineer


RESPONSE

Mr. Button,


Thank you for taking to time to review and respond to our draft 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Staff spent countless hours putting together the NWI 2050 Plan, the 2020-2024 TIP and the 2019 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).


The NOFA process was as transparent as possible. There were approximately 60 hours of public Committee meetings throughout the entire process with six NIRPC Committees involved. The timelines were well publicized in advance, with everyone aware when it was approved by the Commission in November. None of the milestones were moved. Staff prioritized one-on-one meetings with LPAs to assist with writing applications. Every LPA that requested a one-on-one meeting to assist with their applications, got a meeting with staff. The draft TIP document acknowledged the tight timeline and laid out a longer timeframe for future TIP development. Staff also relayed to everyone the general amount of funding available for this NOFA round. For those LPAs active with NIRPC knew that a NOFA was in development well in advance of its official release and the opportunity to develop potential projects to make applications fort prior to the release the NOFA.


The priorities expressed through the NOFA were developed in conjunction with the NWI 2050 Plan process and from public participation starting in April 2018. Quality of Place, Complete Streets, Multi-Use Trails, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Transit were resoundingly stated as

priority. Sustaining and bettering the region is much more than just expanding and or fixing our roadways and bridges. However, almost $7 million dollars of the funds available for programming from FHWA were allocated to the Roadway Improvements program, almost 125% more than the next investment program. In fact, over $7.3 million was allocated to Roadway Improvements. This is on top of all the funding committee to projects that were carried forward from the existing 2018-2021 TIP. Therefore, investments in roadway and bridge infrastructure remains strong, especially for core capital maintenance with a targeted transition in the NWI 2050 Plan from roadway expansions and towards projects more geared towards state of good-repair roadway projects.


After the deficit was resolved in FY 2022 and on March 13, 2019, the Indiana Department of Transportation provided staff final funding estimates for 2019 and preliminary numbers for 2020 (which were used as a baseline for 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024), a final funding picture was available. This was after the March TPC meeting and therefore after the intended opportunity to iterate on programming.

Staff, acting professionally and responsibly followed the same programming approach that was employed during in the February TPC meeting and the February LaPorte TROC meeting to finalize programming of projects in Lake and Porter Counties. It was well documented in a presentation to the Commission in November that a primary goal of the 2020-2024 TIP was to achieve a fully programmed TIP giving communities and the region full access to all federal funds made available by FHWA and FTA. Additionally, it would demonstrate need for greater opportunities to capture Federal and state funds (BUILD, Next Level Trails, Community Crossings, Local Trax, etc.) by showing a true need for infrastructure improvements needed in the region.


The projects referenced in the comment letter, Valparaiso’s intersection improvement project was not given $15,525,000 as you noted, it was given only $1,400,000 in 2024. The city will have 10 years after they request these funds to begin construction. The city must come forward in future NOFAs to request funding for additional phases or segments of the project. But this project does work towards improving congestion at a busy intersection. Lake County Parks’ Veteran Trail projects was unknown to staff as a legacy project until after the March TROC meeting. In fact, their application did not mention that it was a legacy project with a DES number, was not brought to the attention of the Ped, Pedal, & Paddle committee in early February, and was not mentioned at the February TPC meeting to staff. Had it been mentioned; it might have been chosen, but was still a lower scoring project in its investment program. The FHWA does not have a regulation stating when a project is to be built after federal funds have been expended, only that an LPA must pay back any federal funds spent if construction has not started. It does not state who must pay for construction. It does not state that the MPO must fund the project (by any percentage), only that construction must be started.


The NOFA has not proven to be perfect, rather a good attempt at making the TIP programming process better. One of the unforeseen imperfections was that a project as a whole scored higher than individual segments. This imperfection left a “loophole” that made it possible for smaller projects or pre-construction phases to be constructed by being small enough to utilize available funds. In any case, these were still most often high scoring projects. In the future all LPAs will be encouraged, if appropriate, to break their larger projects into more manageable segments when making applications. Also, since this was a new and more holistic process, staff included all of the relevant committees in the review and scoring process. The scoring was not enforced by staff, it was reviewed and accepted by each topical committee. Each topical committee was allowed to discuss the projects and the scores as needed. Some did, some perhaps did not. However, it was more time efficient and respectful of all involved by allowing self-scoring, staff scoring, and using the Committees to resolve major differences, rather than using the Committees to enforce a time-consuming peer review. Further, this scoring aspect of the NOFA process was far more transparent than other federal or state Call for Projects processes. The FHWA, INDOT, and many other

MPOs score, rank, and present results without public scrutiny or transparency into the inner process and provide no ability for appeal. Staff went out of their way to include all of the LPAs and Committees.


In the comment letter there is a statement concerning whether or not INDOT would approve the conversion of eastbound US 12/US20/5th Avenue in Gary into a two-way roadway with bike lanes. In reviewing all of the projects presented in the NOFA, there were seven LPAs that put forth projects that will need to get at least concurrence from INDOT. Of those seven, only Hammond sought out this concurrence on their own volition. It was not a requirement of the NOFA. Projects that were accepted by TPC include the communities of Gary, Merrillville, and Crown Point; all of which did not include this letter of concurrence from INDOT. To single out Gary to be required to bring forth evidence while ignoring others, is again unfair as addressed at the April TPC meeting. The City of Gary has almost five years to get this concurrence. If not, these funds will be added back to a future NOFA.


Again, the process was not perfect, and staff has been more than willing to publicly agree many times times and has included two tasks in the next Unified Planning Work Program to specifically address many of the concerns reflecting upon everyone’s experience with the NOFA. One issue is that of limited funds in this NOFA because there were several projects that were programed (and not just partially programed) in the prior TIP. This was not because the prior to TIP was overextended through programming, rather from a lack of diligence on all parties to let projects in a timely manner, and more quickly adapt to a change in INDOT policy from carrying over unobligated federal funds, to a “use or lose” policy. This pushed over $20 million of projects into the 2020-204 TIP from the prior 2018-2021 TIP. As part of these UPWP efforts, the programming process will once again be examined, so that the process will be understood and hopefully accepted by all. One improvement to gain a better understanding and transparency is to release NOFA’s on a more regular basis (bi-annually), rather than the periodic NOFAs of the past. Having projects will PE or ROW underway, funded with local, state or federal funds, will be important to get construction phases programmed within the next two-year window. The City of Valparaiso and Porter County understand that that their projects will need to broken into several phases, hopefully to receive funding in a timely manner over decently long period of time. Transformative projects can be hard to complete, but everyone understands that to complete these projects, they must be completed in manageable phases. The Chicago Street corridor in Hammond or the Kennedy Avenue projects in Schererville are prime examples of this process at work. It is relevant to point out that the construction for Porter County’s Willowcreek Phase 1 is currently estimated at $5.4 million, not $27 million. Funding the PE for any of these projects does not guarantee that these project or phases for these projects will be granted automatic inclusion into the next TIP. The projects will still have to compete. It does mean that as an MPO recognize that these projects should move forward if we are going to sustain, grow and make our region better for all.


Looking at only new funding awards by LPA gives an inaccurate representation of the funding that is being spent in our region. Only looking at these numbers ignores what has been carried over or recently let. Also, only looking through the lens of population is also not ideal. Lane miles and jobs should also ideally factor into the analysis. While this could be a future improvement to gauge equitable distribution of funds, it is important to also note that federal regulation does not allow any sort of formulaic award in our TIP. New funding awards were made by combination of those with the highest score, those that could be funded and still achieve fiscal constraint, and social and geographic equity in mind. However, the following chart shows the distribution of all funding by LPA for all non-transit projects in the draft 2020- 2024 TIP.



LPA

Population (2010)


Total


$ per Capita


# of Projects

Burns Harbor

1,156

$ 997,934

$ 863.27

1

Cedar Lake

11,560

$ 564,213

$ 48.81

1

Chesterton

13,068

$ 1,209,375

$ 92.54

1

Crown Point

27,317

$ 3,209,000

$ 117.47

3

East Chicago

29,698

$ 828,000

$ 27.88

1

Gary

80,294

$ 8,055,301

$ 100.32

7

Hammond

80,830

$ 21,635,250

$ 267.66

8

Highland

23,727

$ 280,000

$ 11.80

1

Hobart

29,059

$ 12,837,797

$ 441.78

8

Lake County

496,005

$ 9,417,600

$ 18.99

2

Lake Station

12,572

$ 454,403

$ 36.14

1

Munster

23,603

$ 1,339,120

$ 56.74

2

Merrillville

35,246

$ 5,173,820

$ 146.79

3

NIRPC

N/A

$ 1,705,457

N/A

9

Portage

36,828

$ 10,333,652

$ 280.59

5

Porter County

164,343

$ 3,786,274

$ 23.04

3

Schererville

29,243

$ 12,809,579

$ 438.04

3

Valparaiso

31,730

$ 5,259,760

$ 165.77

3

Winfield

4,383

$ 391,200

$ 89.25

1


In regards to the comment about NIRPC needing to include project costs for the projects identified in the Air Quality Conformity Determination report, this change will be made for both the federal and non-federal anticipated costs of these projects. As stated earlier in this reply, there is no guarantee that any of these projects with anticipated federal funding will receive federal funding when future programming decisions beyond the scope of the 2020 to 2024 Transportation Improvement Program are made. Rather, the topical committees and ultimately the Technical Planning Committee will make these decisions on a case- by-case basis for the betterment of our entire region paramount.

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RESOLUTION 19-20

A RESOLUTION OF THE NORTHWESTERN INDIANA REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION TO ADOPT THE

2020-2024 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FOR LAKE, PORTER, AND LAPORTE COUNTIES, INDIANA

May 16, 2019


WHEREAS, Northwest Indiana’s citizens require a safe, efficient, effective, resource-conserving regional transportation system that maintains and enhances regional mobility and contributes to improving the quality of life in Northwest Indiana; and


WHEREAS, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, hereafter referred to as “the Commission”, being designated the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Lake, Porter and LaPorte County area, has established a regional, comprehensive, cooperative, and continuing (3-C) transportation planning process to develop the unified planning work program, a transportation plan, and a transportation improvement program to facilitate federal funding for communities, counties, and transit operators, and to provide technical assistance and expertise to regional transportation interests; and


WHEREAS, the Commission performs the above activities to satisfy requirements of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 (PL 114-94), applicable portions of all prior federal transportation program authorizing legislation, as well as other federal, state, and local laws mandating or authorizing transportation planning activities; and


WHEREAS, the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program is a product of a multi-modal, 3-C transportation planning process, compatible with regional goals and objectives and socio-economic and demographic factors used to form the NWI 2050 Plan, the federally required long-range plan, as adopted; and


WHEREAS, the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program is an implementation of the NWI 2050 Plan, as adopted; is fiscally constrained, and is consistent with the State Implementation Plan for Air Quality; and


WHEREAS, the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program is developed by the Commission in coordination and cooperation with local elected and appointed highway and transit officials, special interest and service organizations, including users of public transit, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana

Department of Environmental Management, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Federal Transit Administration, and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency; and


WHEREAS, the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program was reviewed by the Air Quality Conformity Task Force’s Interagency Consultation Group (ICG); and


WHEREAS, the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program was subjected to public comment in the manner prescribed by the 2014 Public Participation Plan; and


WHEREAS, the Technical Policy Committee (TPC) has recommended that the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission make this adoption of the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission hereby adopts the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program.


Duly adopted by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission this sixteenth day of May, 2019



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Diane Noll Chairperson


ATTEST:



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George Topoll Secretary

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RESOLUTION 19-21

A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATIONS TO THE VOLKSWAGEN MITIGATION TRUST


May 16, 2019


WHEREAS, Northwest Indiana has a rich and growing transit network, including fixed route transit and demand-response services in all three counties; and


WHEREAS, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission has made it an expressed goal to support the growth of transit in the region, to reduce congestion, provide modal choice to citizens, and improve air quality; and


WHEREAS, the state of Indiana has released a request for proposals for the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust, providing alternative funding potential for diesel transit vehicles operated by fixed-route systems, and promoting alternate fuel vehicles; and


WHEREAS, funding from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust would, by providing alternative large-vehicle funding from traditional sources, allow all operators to fund more non-diesel vehicle and capital purchases.


NOW THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED that the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and its transit operators support efforts by fixed-route operators to pursue funding opportunities through the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust.


Duly adopted by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission this sixteenth day of May, 2019.


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Diane Noll Chairperson


ATTEST:


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George Topoll Secretary