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ISTEA significantly changed the law governing metropolitan transportation planning. In response to the changes introduced by ISTEA, FHWA and FTA issued revised planning regulations on October 28, 1993, setting new requirements for the transportation planning processes. The requirements are presented in 23 CFR Part 450 and 49 CFR Part 613, Statewide and Metropolitan Planning Final Rule. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA) also imposed rigorous new transportation planning requirements in metropolitan areas, particularly those that are designated nonattainment or maintenance areas for air quality. In support of the implementation of the revised regulations, FHW A and FTA jointly established a schedule of EPRs. The EPRs are intended to determine the impact of planning on transportation investment processes. The EPRs also provide a technical assessment of the transportation planning and programming processes, including consideration of the six focal points identified by the FHW A and FTA Administrators for certification. The six focal points are: Financial Constraint and Financial Planning, Major Investment Studies, Congestion Management Systems, the Planning Process, and Links to the Conformity Requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990; the Public Involvement Process; and the IS TEA Fifteen Planning Factors. 1 Of equal importance, EPRs will provide a forum for dialogue and the exchange of information on perspectives and concerns related to IS TEA between FT A and FHW A headquarters and field staff, and state and local officials responsible for metropolitan area transportation planning. Additionally, EPRs will provide information for future long-term federal policy-making, including possible legislative and regulatory changes; identify national issues and trends; and document national case studies of best professional practice. This information will also be used to help identify how future federal technical assistance programs can best assist MPOs and other planning agencies in carrying out the requirements of ISTEA. Finally, EPRs are intended to support progress toward meeting ISTEA requirements.