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The Federal Role in Air Quality Programs. Maeve Clancy Grants and Program Integration Office EPA Region 9 December 5, 2012. Topics. Overview of Clean Air Act (CAA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards Designations

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The federal role in air quality programs

The Federal Role in Air Quality Programs

Maeve Clancy

Grants and Program Integration Office

EPA Region 9

December 5, 2012


  • Overview of Clean Air Act (CAA)

  • National Ambient Air Quality Standards

  • Designations

  • State Implementation Plans (SIPs), Tribal Implementation Plans (TIPs), and Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs)

  • Other Federal Requirements

  • Consultation

The clean air act caa
The Clean Air Act (CAA)

  • Federal law designed to ensure all Americans breathe safe air

  • Public health protection primary goal

    • Act also seeks to protect environment (e.g., secondary NAAQS, visibility)

Air Quality Management Process

Set Air Quality Goals

Implement Control Strategies

  • Evaluate Air Quality

  • - Air Quality Assessments

  • Emissions Inventory Data

  • Ambient Air Monitoring Data

  • Choose Control Strategies

  • Voluntary programs / Outreach

  • Some strategies may be regulatory

Determine Necessary

Emissions Reductions

What are the national ambient air quality standards naaqs
What are the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)?

  • Federal ambient standards for air pollutants

    • Ambient concentrations cannot exceed NAAQS

    • Apply everywhere, regardless of jurisdiction

  • Six criteria pollutants

    • CO, lead, NO2, ozone, PM, SO2

    • Primary (public health) and secondary (public welfare) standards

    • Review of NAAQS every 5 years

NAAQS Review and Implementation September 2012

Disclaimer: Table assembled from multiple sources  Should NOT be relied upon as primary source.

Note: Underlined dates are court-ordered.

NAAQS levels –

NAAQS info –

TBD–To Be Determined, NAAQS–National Ambient Air Quality Standards, NPR–Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, NFR–Notice of Final Rulemaking, RACM–Reasonably Available Control Measures, RFP–Reasonable Further Progress, CD–Consent Decree, DNA–Does Not Apply

Air quality planning process
Air Quality Planning Process

  • After NAAQS publication, and consultation and coordination with tribes and states, EPA promulgates area designations

    • Nonattainment

    • Attainment/Unclassifiable

  • States with nonattainment areas develop state implementation plans (SIPs) – roadmap to attainment

  • Tribes not required to develop tribal implementation plans (TIPs) but may do so

Epa guidance 5 factors to consider when defining nonattainment area boundaries
EPA Guidance - 5 Factors to Consider When Defining Nonattainment Area Boundaries

1. Air quality data (monitors must meet quality assurance and completeness requirements)

2. Emissions and emissions related data (population density, urbanization, traffic, VMT, etc.)

3. Meteorology (weather/transport patterns)

Epa guidance factors to consider when defining nonattainment area naa boundaries cont
EPA Guidance - Factors to Consider when Defining Nonattainment Area (NAA) Boundaries (cont.)

  • Geography/topography (mountain ranges, other air basin boundaries)

    5. Jurisdictional boundaries (areas of Indian country, county lines, existing/prior nontattainment area boundaries, etc.)

Epa tribal designations policies
EPA Tribal Designations Policies

  • December 2011 OAQPS Tribal Designations Policies

    • Encourage EPA regions to engage with tribes early in designation process

    • Promote a consistent process for designating tribal air quality as meeting/not meeting NAAQS

    • Allow tribes to request a designation separate from surrounding attainment or nonattainment area

What happens after a nonattainment designation
What happens after a nonattainment designation?

  • Areas violating NAAQS or contributing to NAAQS violations “designated” via EPA rulemaking as nonattainment for pollutant in question, listed as such in 40 CFR Part 81

  • State clean air plan (the SIP) generally due 3 years after formal designations; Tribes with TAS for CAA section 110 may prepare TIPs but do not have to meet CAA deadlines

  • SIP must demonstrate how area will attain NAAQS “as expeditiously as practicable” but not later than the attainment date, generally prescribed in CAA

Sips and tips plans for clean air
SIPs and TIPs: Plans for Clean Air

  • CAA requires general plan to achieve NAAQS in all areas of country & specific plan for each NAA

  • SIPs developed by states and/or local agencies and submitted to EPA for approval through federal rulemaking

  • After EPA approval, SIPs and associated control measures are enforceable by state and EPA

  • Other presenters may be able to provide more detail

Public comment on sip process
Public Comment on SIP Process

  • Every SIP and SIP revision must be submitted to EPA for approval after state has provided public notice and held public hearing on the SIP [CAA section 110(a)(1)]

  • EPA must take public comment on its actions to approve or disapprove the SIP (section 307(d)(3))

    • Note: if the SIP has tribal implications, then EPA should consult with the tribe on the SIP

  • An agency or citizen can challenge EPA’s final SIP action in the Court of Appeals

Tribal consultation
Tribal Consultation

  • May 2011 EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes

    • Sets clear standards for consultation process

    • Designates EPA personnel as consultation points of contact

    • Establishes management oversight and reporting structure

    • Sets broad standard for when EPA should consider consulting with tribes

  • Upcoming consultation opportunities posted online at

Some examples of sip control measures
Some Examples of SIP Control Measures

  • Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) programs

  • Truck Stop Electrification

  • Controls on consumer products

  • Dust control measures

Vehicle inspection and maintenance i m programs
Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Programs

How the SIP Process Works

CAA or court case mandates plan submittal,

or State/Local/Tribe decides to revise its SIP/TIP

State/Local/Tribe prepares and adopts plan after public hearing

S/L/T submits SIP/TIP to EPA Regional office

EPA reviews SIP for completeness, then, if complete, for approvability

EPA proposes approval/disapproval, with comment period

After SIP/TIP approval, the plan becomes Federally enforceable

If SIP is Federally mandated and disapproved, FIP may be promulgated

Why are sips important to tribes
Why are SIPs important to tribes?

  • Tribes sometimes suffer from poor air generated elsewhere

  • State/local decisions on SIPs impact tribes

  • National rules may not be enough; state controls may be needed to achieve NAAQS

  • Tribes may want to comment on SIP

Example region 9 sips
Example–Region 9 SIPs

  • In development

    • Pinal PM10 SIP

    • San Joaquin PM2.5 SIP (2006 standard)

    • South Coast (Los Angeles) PM2.5 SIP (2006 standard)

  • Under EPA review

    • San Diego 8-hour ozone attainment plan (1997 standard)

    • Arizona Regional Haze SIP/FIP

    • Coachella PM10 maintenance plan & redesignation request

Tips and fips
TIPs and FIPs

  • Tribal Implementation Plans (TIPs): air quality management plans developed and submitted by Tribes to EPA

  • Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs): plans developed by EPA to address SIP disapprovals or gaps in states or in Indian country

Other federal requirements
Other Federal Requirements

  • Control of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)

  • New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)

  • Preconstruction Permit Requirements

  • Operating Permit Requirements

Control of hazardous air pollutants haps
Control of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)

  • Congress regulated 189 toxic chemicals

  • Applies to sources emitting 10 tpy of any HAP or 25 tpy in combination

  • Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards

New source performance standards nsps
New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)

  • National uniform standards that serve as “floor” for many other air programs for specific source categories

  • Applies to new construction and modifications

  • Includes emission limits, monitoring, recordkeeping, reporting, testing requirements

Preconstruction requirements
Preconstruction Requirements

  • Prevention of Significant Deterioration –preconstruction review in attainment areas

  • New Source Review (NSR) – preconstruction review in NAAs

  • Tribal NSR – preconstruction review on major and minor sources on tribal lands

Operating permit requirements
Operating Permit Requirements

  • Title V of CAA

  • National program delegated to the states; can be delegated to tribes

  • Imposes no new requirements, but puts all existing requirements in one permit

  • 5-year term

  • Applies to major sources and sources subject to NSPS, MACT, acid rain, other regulation

State permitting
State Permitting

  • All CAA permits require notice and comment period (NSR and Title V)

  • Generally each state requires at minimum notice by

    • Publication in a newspaper

    • 30-day comment period

  • Permit Appeals

    • Follow state mechanism, but each state must have mechanism for appeal

    • As general rule, only those who commented on original permit can appeal issuance of permit

Other options for tribal governments
Other Options for Tribal Governments

A tribe may seek “treatment in the same manner as a state” (TAS) status for most CAA programs (TAR, 40 CFR part 49)

  • 107(d): tribes can submit air quality designation recommendations

  • 505(a)(2): tribes can review and comment on permits of nearby Title V sources

  • 126: tribes can review nearby NSR permits and petition EPA that emissions from one or more source contribute to violations of NAAQS on the reservation


Contact information