Archives - January, 2004
January 30, 2004 EPA proposes the Interstate Air Quality Rule
EPA is proposing to find that 29 eastern States and the District of Columbia contribute significantly to nonattainment of the national ambient air quality standards for fine particles and/or 8-hour ozone in downwind States. The EPA is proposing to require these upwind States to revise their State implementation plans (SIPs) to include control measures to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and/or nitrogen oxides (NOX). EPA is proposing to cap the total SO2 emissions from utility sources in the affected states at 2.9 million tons. The cap would be met by the end of the 2015. In addition, EPA proposed to make the current ozone season NOX requirements year-round and cap utility emissions at 1.3 million tons by 2015. These caps are a 65 to 70 percent reduction from current (2002) emissions. Parks in the eastern U.S. should experience improvements in visibility and acid deposition rates with the highest degree of improvement expected along the Appalachian mountain range. Many urban park units will benefit from reduced levels fine particulate matter related health effects as well as reduced levels of ozone, a primary ingredient in smog. EPA has asked for comment on how this rule should interact with the requirements of the regional haze rule which is aimed at returning natural visibility conditions at Class I park units by 2064. EPA is also considering an expansion of the rule to all states based on the regional haze rule requirements and has solicited comment on whether and how to accomplish this. Comments are due to EPA by March 30, 2004.
For more information, please visit EPA's website on the Interstate Air Quality Rule.
September 17, 2003 EPA Agrees to Timeline for Regulating NOx Emissions Affecting Parks:
EPA has settled a lawsuit filed by Environmental Defense that sought to require EPA to comply with a 1990 court decision that ordered the agency to revise the existing Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx). Environmental Defense had sued EPA arguing that there were significant deficiencies in the existing PSD limits for NOx. In 1990 the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. agreed with Environmental Defense and ordered EPA to review and revise these regulations, but EPA did not do so. The settlement provides that EPA propose a rule by September 30, 2004 and issue a final rule by September 30, 2005. The settlement will be published in the Federal Register for comment and must be approved by the court before it becomes final. (FR link or cite may be available soon)