EPA Proposes to Approve West Virginia’s Reasonable Progress Goals Report and Adequacy Determination for Regional Haze

On March 14, 2014, the USEPA published its proposed rule to approve a revision to the West Virginia State Implementation Plan (SIP), submitted by West Virginia DEP on April 30, 2013. States like West Virginia are required to submit a progress report in the form of a SIP revision every five years that evaluates progress towards Reasonable Progress Goals (RPG) for Class I Federal areas within the state and outside the state which may be affected by emissions from within the state. See 40 CFR 51.308(g). Progress reports are required to include a determination of the adequacy of the state’s existing regional haze SIP. West Virginia submitted its first regional haze SIP on June 18, 2008.

The progress report SIP is required to cover 7 areas including: (1) The status of measures in the approved regional haze SIP; (2) a summary of emissions reductions achieved; (3) an assessment of visibility conditions for each Class I area in the state; (4) an analysis of changes in emissions from sources and activities within the state; (5) an assessment of any significant changes in anthropogenic emissions within or outside the state that have limited or impeded progress in Class I areas impacted by the state’s sources; (6) an assessment of the sufficiency of the approved regional haze SIP; and (7) a review of the state’s visibility monitoring strategy. EPA’s proposed approval states that West Virginia’s submission has adequately addressed each of the 7 required areas of review.

West Virginia has two Class I areas within its borders (Dolly Sods Wilderness Area and Otter Creek Wilderness Area) and also has been identified as potentially impacting six Class I areas in five neighboring states: Brigantine Wilderness in New Jersey; Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee; James River Face in Virginia; Linville Gorge in North Carolina; Monmouth Cave National Park in Kentucky; and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

EPA is proposing to approve West Virginia’s regional haze five year progress report SIP revision as meeting the applicable regional haze requirements set forth in 40 CFR 51.308(g) and 51.308(h). Public comments on EPA’s proposed approval will be accepted until April 14, 2014.

Additional information can be found at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/03/14/2014-05743/approval-and-promulgation-of-implementation-plans-west-virginia-regional-haze-five-year-progress

Richard Lewis practices in the areas of domestic and international business law with a focus on environmental and energy-related legal matters. He represents clients general business negotiations and before federal, state and appellate courts and administrative agencies in civil, criminal, and penalty proceedings.
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