Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
In section 169A of the 1977 Amendments to the Clean Air Act, Congress established a national visibility goal as the “prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility in mandatory Federal Class I areas which impairment results from manmade air pollution” (42 U.S.C. 7491). These provisions were further supplemented by section 169B of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 7492). States are required to develop implementation plans that make “reasonable progress” toward this goal.
The EPA issued initial visibility regulations in 1980
The overall framework of the regional haze rule requires States to develop a State Implementation Plan that includes: (1) Reasonable progress goals for improving visibility in each mandatory Federal Class I area and (2) set of emission reduction measures to meet these goals. Specifically, States will set progress goals for each mandatory Federal Class I area to:
Most States (and Tribes as appropriate
The purpose of the documents announced in today's notice is to provide guidance to the States and Tribes in implementing the regional haze program and to explain how EPA intends to exercise its discretion in implementing Clean Air Act provisions and EPA regulations concerning the estimation of natural visibility and tracking progress under the Regional Haze program. The guidance documents are designed to implement national policy on these issues. The guidance documents are designed to assist States and Tribes in implementing national policy on these issues. Sections 169A and 169B of the Clean Air Act and implementing regulations at 40 CFR 51.308 and 51.309 contain legally binding requirements. These guidance documents will not substitute for those provisions or regulations, nor will they constitute regulations themselves. Thus, they will not impose binding, enforceable requirements on any party, and may not apply to a particular situation based upon the circumstances. We and State decision makers retain the discretion to adopt approaches on a case-by-case basis that differ from this guidance where appropriate. Any decisions by us regarding a particular SIP demonstration will only be made based on the statute and regulations. Therefore, you are free to raise questions and objections about the appropriateness of the application of this guidance to a particular situation; we will, and States should, consider whether or not the recommendations in this guidance are appropriate in that situation. These guidance documents will be living documents and may be revised periodically without public notice. We welcome public comments on these documents at any time and will consider those comments in any future revision of these guidance documents.
Because these documents are not regulations and do not impose binding requirements, we are not required to solicit public comments on them. However, we chose to do so as a matter of discretion in order to improve the quality and responsiveness of the documents to the needs of the State and Tribal air quality management agencies. A summary of the comments we received and our responses to them will be available at the Web site identified above.