Comments accepted on regional haze plan


Ohio EPA is accepting comments on a proposed change to its implementation plan dealing with regional haze.

Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing on the proposed change on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 10:30 a.m. at Ohio EPA’s Central Office, 50 West Town Street, Suite 700, Columbus. Please bring identification to present at the security desk in the lobby.

The request is being made to allow Ohio EPA to apply the federal Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to Ohio’s attainment plans for regional haze, and remove the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) reference in the current plan.

In order to fix deficiencies in CAIR, U.S. EPA replaced the rules with more stringent CSAPR regulations beginning in 2015. CSAPR was introduced by U.S. EPA to reduce pollution transported between states that significantly affect downwind nonattainment and maintenance of air quality standards. The Federal Clean Air Act contains a good neighbor provision requiring upwind states to limit emissions within their borders that interfere with a downwind state’s ability to meet federal air quality standards.

CSAPR is designed to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from power plants in the eastern half of the United States. U.S. EPA expects the rule to reduce fine particulate and ozone pollution.

In Ohio’s original regional haze implementation plan that was approved by U.S. EPA 2011, Ohio EPA relied upon CAIR to allow the state to meet certain requirements for nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide emissions from electric generating plants. Now that CAIR has been replaced, revising the SIP will memorialize Ohio’s implementation of CSAPR to meet U.S. EPA requirements. This revision does not alter any other aspects of Ohio’s plan to address regional haze.

This revised regional haze SIP is available on Ohio EPA’s web page. The hearing will be an opportunity to submit comments concerning the SIP action. Comments on the SIP proposal may be presented at the hearing or submitted by email to jennifer.vanvlerah@epa.ohio.gov or in writing to: Ohio EPA, Division of Air Pollution Control, Attention: Jennifer Van Vlerah, Lazarus Government Center, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio, 43216-1049. The public comment period will end Aug. 5, 2015.