§ 1235 Exempt projects.

Notwithstanding the other requirements of this rule, highway and transit projects of the types listed in Table 2 are exempt from the requirement that a conformity determination be made. Such projects may proceed toward implementation even in the absence of a conforming transportation plan and TIP. A particular action of the type listed in Table 2 is not exempt if the MPO in consultation with other agencies (see § 1206(c)(1)(iii)), the EPA, and the FHWA (in the case of a highway project) or the FTA (in the case of a transit project) concur that it has potentially adverse emissions impacts for any reason. States and MPOs must assure that exempt projects do not interfere with TCM implementation.

Table 2.

Exempt Projects


Railroad/highway crossing

Hazard elimination program

Safer non-Federal-aid system roads

Shoulder improvements

Increasing sight distance

Safety improvement program

Traffic control devices and operating assistance other than signalization projects

Railroad/highway crossing warning devices

Guardrails, median barriers, crash cushions

Pavement resurfacing or rehabilitation

Pavement marking demonstration

Emergency relief (23 U.S.C. 125)


Skid treatments

Safety roadside rest areas

Adding medians

Truck climbing lanes outside the urbanized area

Lighting improvements

Widening narrow pavements or reconstructing bridges (no additional travel lanes)

Emergency truck pullovers

Mass Transit

Operating assistance to transit agencies

Purchase of support vehicles

Rehabilitation of transit vehicles (In PM10 nonattainment or maintenance areas, only if projects are in compliance with control measures in the applicable implementation plan.)

Purchase of office, shop, and operating equipment for existing facilities

Purchase of operating equipment for vehicles (e.g., radios, fareboxes, lifts, etc.)

Construction or renovation of power, signal, and communications systems

Construction of small passenger shelters and information kiosks

Reconstruction or renovation of transit buildings and structures (e.g., rail or bus buildings, storage and maintenance facilities, stations, terminals, and ancillary structures)

Rehabilitation or reconstruction of track structures, track, and trackbed in existing rights-of-way

Purchase of new buses and rail cars to replace existing vehicles or for minor expansions of the fleet (In PM10 nonattainment or maintenance areas, only if projects are in compliance with control measures in the applicable implementation plan.)

Construction of new bus or rail storage/maintenance facilities categorically excluded in 23 CFR part 771

Air Quality

Continuation of ride-sharing and van-pooling promotion activities at current levels

Bicycle and pedestrian facilities


Specific activities which do not involve or lead directly to construction, such as:

Planning and technical studies

Grants for training and research programs

Planning activities conducted pursuant to titles 23 and 49 U.S.C.

Federal-aid systems revisions

Engineering to assess social, economic, and environmental effects of the proposed action or alternatives to that action

Noise attenuation

Advance land acquisitions (23 CFR part 712 or 23 CFR part 771)

Acquisition of scenic easements

Plantings, landscaping, etc.

Sign removal

Directional and informational signs

Transportation enhancement activities (except rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities)

Repair of damage caused by natural disasters, civil unrest, or terrorist acts, except projects involving substantial functional, locational, or capacity changes