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EPA looks to better SIP process

Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 23:00
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), heads of state environmental agencies, and local and state air officials are working together to achieve stricter federal air rules to improve the State Implementation Plan (SIP) process.

Plans have been proposed with the hopes of reducing the burden on states to seek strict state-level emission rules. Some state officials are opposed to the approach because they believe calling for stricter rules is a 'substantive' issue and is irrelevant to accelerating the SIP process.

Representatives, including those from the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) and the EPA, are hoping their work can lead to a successful overhaul of the SIP process. Their plan includes initiatives by which states craft federally enforceable plans that outline the pollution control measures that will be taken to meet EPA national air quality standards.
States have been upset with certain aspects of the SIPs for some time, citing issues with the resources required to write plans, re-writing plans whenever the EPA updates air standards, and the extended period of time states wait attempting to get EPA approval of their plans. The group is currently targeting three major reform areas:

  • Revising the SIP process without needing to amend the Clean Air Act,
  • Developing a 'toolkit” for state and local officials on streamlining SIPs,
  • Calling for stricter federal air rules that would reduce states' burden on regulating emission sources.

 

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