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145 in mind, new methods could be developed to capture data on on fuel consumption at the national or state level, and apportion traffic mix. emissions to the state or county level using an available activity metric, such as traffic density or mileage of active track. Detailed, or "bottom-up," methods calculate fuel consumption either by Task 7: Evaluate Methodologies measuring freight movements or surveying individual railroad for Local Data Collection companies. Typically, there is little or no published information Task 7 will evaluate different methodologies to collect on railroad activity available for a specific region. Thus, state local data, including traffic data, infrastructure data (e.g., road and regional air quality agencies must obtain railroad activity grade, pavement quality), and vehicle characteristics data data directly from the railroad companies. (e.g., aerodynamics). The use of GPS devices could provide enough information Objectives for the development of real-time driving cycles, which could be linked with modal emission models for emissions estimation The objective of this research project is to improve rail on a second-by-second basis. GPS devices could also transmit activity data for emission calculations through the develop- vehicle information for proper characterization of fuel type, ment of alternative methods for railroad data reporting and engine and transmission characteristics, and vehicle gross the comparison of different methods to disaggregate rail fuel vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Road grade information can consumption data. be obtained by superimposing such driving cycles with grade information for relevant road networks. Description of Tasks Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for Task 8: Prepare Final Report conducting the research. The panel is seeking the insights Task 8 will compile the results from previous tasks in a of proposers on how best to achieve the research objectives. clear and concise document that will serve as support for future Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can emissions analyses. realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their under- Funding Requirements standing of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. A funding level of $200,000 is allocated to this research. The contract will be completed within 12 months of acceptance of proposal, including 1 month for review and approval of the Task 1: Conduct Kick-Off Call interim report and 1 month for review and contractor revision of the final report. It is anticipated that the research will not Conduct a conference call with the panel within 30 days after require fieldwork, laboratory testing, or travel in addition to contract initiation to discuss the revised work plan developed in meetings with the project panel. response to the panel review of the research plan in the agency's original proposal. 5.3 Improving Rail Activity Data Task 2: Develop Alternative Methods for Emission Calculations for Railroad Data Reporting Background Three factors drive the need for new methods of railroad Current practice for estimating freight rail emissions is often fuel data reporting. First, there are large uncertainties associ- based on EPA's methodology, which relies on fuel consumption ated with the use of aggregated fuel data for regional and local data to determine emissions. Detailed fuel consumption data emission analyses. Second, disaggregated data can only be are typically considered sensitive information by railroads. obtained directly from the railroads. Because of concerns about However, aggregate fuel consumption data, which are based releasing sensitive information, railroads are sometimes on 100% reporting for Class I railroads, are available from reluctant to share detailed operational activity. Third, there industry or government agencies (i.e., Association of American are concerns about the accuracy of county-level gross ton-miles Railroads, Energy Information Administration, state agencies, data provided by the railroads. As a result, this task should private companies via surveys). Streamlined, or "top-down," (1) examine the concerns presented by railroads, (2) deter- methods determine emissions based on publicly available data mine the most critical information necessary to improve the