Archives - September 2005
EPA Publishes Clean Air Visibility Rule
The Clean Air Act requires older power plants and industrial sources (built between 1962-1977) to install the "best available retrofit technology" (BART) if they cause or contribute to visibility impairment in any Class I area (national parks and wilderness areas). In 1980, EPA published a rule that required BART on specific sources if visibility impairment could be "reasonably attributed" to a single source or small group of sources. On June 15, 2005, EPA issued a new rule and guidance expanding the BART requirement to any major stationary source (built between 1962-1977) that causes or contributes to regional haze in any Class I area. EPA's rule does not mandate specific pollution control requirements, rather it provides a framework for States (and Tribes, if they opt-in) to make BART determinations. States must develop plans to implement this requirement by the end of 2007; emission controls will be in place between 2014-2018. This rule is part of more comprehensive, national program to restore the best possible visibility to our parks (e.g., States are required to develop long–term strategies that make "reasonable progress" toward restoring natural visibility to Class I areas over the next 60 years, with incremental progress toward that goal each decade). For more information abount the final amendments about the Regional Haze Rule and guidelines for BART, please visit EPA's Factsheet webpage.
On July 20, 2005, EPA proposed a related regulation that would allow states to comply with the BART requirements by developing an emissions trading program. EPA expects to finalize the rule in November. For more information on the requirements for an emissions trading program, please visit EPA's Factsheet webpage.