Thursday, November 10, 2011

Schedule For Action On State Regional Haze Plans

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a court ordered schedule to review and act on more than 40 state regional haze reduction plans, designed to improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas. The EPA action by itself does not establish control requirements; EPA will work with the states to approve their plans by the court ordered deadline in the agreement. Under the terms of the consent decree, if a state plan cannot be approved, EPA will determine an appropriate federal plan.

The dates for promulgation of final rules (either accepting or rejecting State plans) begin December 13, 2011 and run through November 15, 2011. States are grouped within this timeframe.

EPA initially issued a rule in 1999 requiring states to submit regional haze plans. These plans were due in December 2007, but no action was taken by the agency in response to the submittals. National Parks Conservation Association and other environmental groups sued the agency in August 2011 to take action on these plans, and the consent decree resolves this litigation. EPA will accept public comment on this agreement for 30 days following publication of a notice in the Federal Register.

Caltha LLP provides specialized expertise to clients nationwide in the evaluation environmental rules, developing EH&S compliance procedures, and preparing cost-effective EH&S management programs.

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