This page contains a chronological listing of all regulatory actions related to visibility.
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Final Action to Address Regional Haze
May 30, 2012 - EPA has finalized a rule that allows the trading programs in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to serve as an alternative to determining source-by-source Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART). This rule provides that states in the CSAPR region can substitute participation in CSAPR for source-specific BART forsulfur dioxide and/or nitrogen oxides emissions from power plants. EPA also finalized a limited disapproval of certain states' plans that previously relied on CAIR to improve visibility and substituted a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) that relies on CSAPR.
Proposed Action to Address Regional Haze
December 23, 2011 - EPA proposes to approve the trading program in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) as an alternative to determining source-by-source Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART). This would allow states in the CSAPR region to substitute participation in CSAPR for source-specific BART for sulfur dioxide and/or nitrogen oxides emissions from power plants. EPA also is proposing to disapprove part of certain states plans that previously relied on CAIR to improve visibility and proposing to replace it with a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) that would rely on CSAPR
Results of the Integrated Planning Model (IPM) for this Proposed Action - The IPM is a computer model that can be used to examine air pollution control policies for SO2 and NOx throughout the contiguous United States for the entire power sector.
- 2014 Basecase
- CSAPR+BART 2014
- National BART 2014
EPA Sets Schedule to Improve Visibility in the Nation's Most Treasured Natural Areas
November 9, 2011 - EPA issued a schedule to act on more than 40 state pollution reduction plans that will improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas and protect public health from the damaging effects of the pollutants that cause regional haze. EPA will accept public comment on this agreement for 30 days following publication of a notice in the Federal Register.
EPA Makes Findings of Failure to Submit State Implementation Plans (SIPs) - 1999 Regional Haze Program
January 9, 2009 - EPA issued findings that 37 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands states missed Clean Air Act deadlines for submitting plans, or elements of plans, for implementing EPAs Regional Haze Program.
EPA has finalized an emissions trading program to help state and tribal governments improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas
On October, 5, 2006, EPA finalized an alternative emissions trading program that gives flexibility for states or tribal governments in ways to apply Best Alternative Retrofit Technology (BART). The BART requirements would be satisfied if the trading program meets or exceeds the visibility benefits resulting from BART.
Emissions Trading Could Satisfy Best
Available Retrofit Technology Requirements Under EPAs Regional Haze Program
On July 20, 2005, EPA proposed a new regulation that would give states the option to develop an emissions trading program to improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas. EPA’s proposal outlines the process that a state or tribal governments would use to show that an emissions trading program could be used to meet the Clean Air Visibility Rule’s Best Available Retrofit Technology or BART Requirements. EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 45 days after it is published in the Federal Register.
On June 15, 2005, EPA issued final amendments to its July 1999 regional haze rule. These amendments apply to the provisions of the regional haze rule that require emission controls known as Best Available Retrofit Technology, or BART, for industrial facilities emitting air pollutants that reduce visibility. These pollutants include fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and compounds which contribute to PM2.5 formation, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, certain volatile organic compounds, and ammonia. The amendments include final guidelines, known as BART guidelines, for states to use in determining which facilities must install controls and the type of controls the facilities must use.
- Memorandum describing the pollutant-specific CALPUFF analysis for modeling EGU emissions and the averaging period used to estimate natural visibility background.
- Memo dated July 19, 2006 (PDF) (2 pp, 85k)
- Final Preamble and BART Guidelines (PDF) (70 pp, 1.0 MB) - Federal Register, July 6, 2005
- Since signing the June 15, 2005 final rule and prior to publication,
EPA corrected errors as described in the following memorandum. (Corrected
files posted on 6/27/2005)
- Memo dated June 24, 2005 (PDF) (5 pp, 81k)
- Fact Sheet
- Regulatory Impact Analysis (PDF) (469 pp, 3.4 MB)
Results of the Integrated Planning Model (IPM) for the Final Amendments to the Regional Haze Regulations and Guidelines for BART Determinations
The IPM is a computer model that can be used to examine air pollution control policies for SO2 and NOX throughout the contiguous United States for the entire power sector. EPA used the IPM to model the impacts of BART on the electric power sector to develop the final BART rule.
- IPM Final BART Run Results
Public Hearings Held
EPA held two hearings to listen to public comment on its proposed Regional Haze Regulations and Guidelines for Best Available Control Technology (BART) Determinations.
- The first hearing was held on June 4, 2004 at: Holiday Inn Select, Old Town Alexandria, Alexandria, VA 22314
- The second hearing was held on June 15, 2004 at: Adams Mark Hotel, Denver, CO, 80202
Proposed Rulemaking: Guidelines for Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) Determinations Under the Regional Haze Rule and Amendments to the Regional Haze Rule (Signed April 15, 2004, Published May 5, 2004)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend its regional haze rule to provide guidelines for state and tribal air quality agencies to use in determining how to set air pollution limits for a number of older, large utilities and other industrial plants, to address visibility impairment in scenic areas. In May 2002, the DC Circuit court vacated certain provisions of the regional haze rule related best available retrofit technology (BART). Because of this remand, we need to repropose guidelines intended to add further clarification to the BART requirements in the regional haze rule. The purpose of this rulemaking is to provide the appropriate changes to the BART requirements and guidelines.
- Proposal (PDF) (50 pp, 350k) - Federal Register, May 5, 2004
- Fact Sheet
- Press Release
- List of Class I Areas
- Map of Class I Areas
EPA’s 1999 Regional Haze Rule for Protection of Visibility in National Parks and Wilderness Areas
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued regulations to improve visibility, or visual air quality, in 156 national parks and wilderness areas across the country. These areas include many of our best known and most treasured natural areas, such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Mount Rainier, Shenandoah, the Great Smokies, Acadia, and the Everglades. The regulations call for States to establish goals for improving visibility in national parks and wilderness areas and to develop long-term strategies for reducing emissions of air pollutants that cause visibility impairment.
- Regional Haze Rule (PDF) (61 pp, 590k) - Text of the 1999 final regional haze rule and preamble as it appeared in the Federal Register, July 1, 1999.
- Fact Sheet (PDF) (8 pp, 27k) - Plain English description of the final regional haze rule.