FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Air Agencies Praise U.S. EPA Actions on Regional Haze and Near-Road Nitrogen Dioxide Monitoring Proposals
June 28, 2016
The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA), a national, consensus-driven organization of state and local air quality agencies, applauds recent actions taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to proposals on Regional Haze and near-road nitrogen dioxide (NO2) minimum monitoring requirements.
Near-Road Monitoring Actions
Today, AAPCA submitted comments supportive of EPA’s revisions to near-road NO2 monitoring requirements, including the removal of existing mandates for monitoring stations in Core Based Statistical Areas with populations between 500,000 and 1,000,000 persons. AAPCA’s comment letter argues, “This revision is based on clear evidence from Phases 1 and 2 of the near-road NO2 network, and would alleviate unnecessary burdens for affected state and local agencies.”
Sheila Holman, AAPCA President and Director of the North Carolina Division of Air Quality, stated: “We strongly believe the resources that would be expended on these near-road monitoring sites would draw limited resources away from higher priority monitoring requirements.” Additional comments on the proposal by state and local environmental agencies are available here.
Regional Haze Actions
On June 20, AAPCA submitted a request that U.S. EPA extend the deadline for submitting comments on a proposal to make changes to the Regional Haze Rule. EPA indicated that it would be providing states updated guidance on the development of regional haze State Implementation Plans, a document that is undergoing interagency review and has not yet been released. AAPCA ‘s letter pointed out that the guidance and the proposed rule are interrelated and “allowing state and local agencies to examine them in tandem during an expanded period will help ensure informed, meaningful comments.” Related extension requests were made to U.S. EPA by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, and Southeastern States Air Resources Managers, Inc. (SESARM).
On June 24, EPA notified AAPCA that it was extending the comment period from July 5 to August 10, 2016, in order to facilitate simultaneous review and comment on the proposed rule and related guidance.
According to AAPCA Vice President Sean Alteri of the Kentucky Division for Air Quality: “We appreciate EPA’s willingness to consider the feedback from AAPCA members, who oversee air quality for more than 130 million Americans. With many resource-intensive implementation issues facing state and local agencies, it is more important than ever to collaborate with our federal partners and prioritize the most pressing environmental matters.” AAPCA recently updated its timeline, State Clean Air Act Deadlines, 2016 to 2021, which documents upcoming Clean Air Act requirements for environmental agencies.
The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) is a national, non-profit, consensus-driven organization focused on assisting state and local air quality agencies and personnel with implementation and technical issues associated with the federal Clean Air Act. 18 state environmental agencies currently sit on AAPCA’s Board of Directors.
AAPCA is housed in Lexington, Kentucky as an affiliate of The Council of State Governments. You can find more information about AAPCA at: http://www.cleanairact.org.
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