Notice of action: The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking comments and announcing a public hearing on a proposed plan to improve visibility impairment in Federal Class I areas. Federal Class I areas are defined in the Clean Air Act as national parks over 6,000 acres and wilderness areas and memorial parks over 5,000 acres, established as of 1977. Virginia is home to two such areas, the Shenandoah National Park and the James River Face Wilderness Area. If adopted, the Commonwealth intends to submit the plan as a revision to the Commonwealth of Virginia State Implementation Plan (SIP) in accordance with the requirements of § 110(a) and §169A of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). The SIP is the plan developed by the Commonwealth in order to fulfill its responsibilities under the federal CAA to attain and maintain the ambient air quality standards promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Act.
Purpose of notice: DEQ is seeking comments on the overall plan, and on the issue of whether the plan will enable the Commonwealth to meet federal requirements for controlling air pollutants that reduce visibility in Class I areas.
Public comment period: August 16 to September 17, 2010.
Public hearing: A public hearing will be conducted in second floor conference room A, Department of Environmental Quality, 629 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia, at 10:00 am on September 16, 2010.
Description of proposal: Virginia is required to demonstrate reasonable progress toward meeting the national goal of a return to natural visibility conditions by 2064 for each Class I Federal area within the state and for Class I Federal areas located outside the state that may be affected by emissions from sources within the state. The plan establishes baseline visibility conditions for 2000-2004, natural background visibility conditions in 2064, and the rate of uniform progress (glidepath) between baseline and background conditions. The plan establishes reasonable progress goals (RPGs), which provide for reasonable progress toward achieving natural visibility conditions, provide for improvement in visibility for the most impaired days over the period of the implementation plan, and ensure no degradation in visibility for the least impaired days over the same period.
In order to ensure that visibility goals are properly met and set, the regional haze SIP includes determinations, for each Class I area, of the baseline visibility conditions for the most impaired and least impaired days. The SIP also contains supporting documentation for all required analyses used to calculate the degree of visibility impairment for the most impaired and least impaired days. In addition, the plan includes a monitoring strategy for measuring, characterizing, and reporting of regional haze visibility impairment that is representative of all Class I areas within the state.
This first set of RPGs must be met through measures contained in the state’s long-term strategy covering the period from the present until 2018. The long-term strategy includes enforceable emissions limitations, compliance schedules, and other measures as necessary to achieve the RPGs, including all controls required or expected under all federal and state regulations by 2018. During development of the long-term strategy, the Commonwealth considered specific factors such as the abovementioned ongoing control programs, measures to mitigate construction activities, source retirement and replacement schedules, smoke management programs for agriculture and forestry, and enforceability of specific measures.
In addition, the plan demonstrates implementation of best available retrofit technology (BART) requirements, including a determination of BART for each source that emits any air pollutant that may reasonably be anticipated to cause or contribute to any impairment of visibility in any Class I area. BART-eligible sources are sources in 26 specific source categories that began operation within a 15-year period prior to enactment of the 1977 CAA. Emission limitations representing BART and schedules for compliance with BART for each source subject to BART are included in the long-term strategy.
Federal information: This notice is being given to satisfy the public participation requirements of federal regulations (40 CFR 51.102). The proposal will be submitted as a revision to the Commonwealth of Virginia SIP under §110(a) and §169A of the federal CAA in accordance with 40 CFR 51.104. It is planned to submit all provisions of the proposal as a revision to the Commonwealth of Virginia SIP.
Consultation with federal land managers (FLMs): As provided in 40 CFR 51.302(b)(2), the FLMs were given the opportunity to comment on the proposed plan on October 1, 2007, and May 19, 2010. FLMs were also given opportunity to comment on BART requirements. FLM comments on BART documents are located in Appendices H-9e, H-9f, H-9i, H10b-P, and H-10b-S. DEQ responses to these comments are located in Appendices H-9g, H-9h, H-9j, H-10b-R, and H-10b-T. FLM comments on the entire SIP are located in Appendices J-3, J-4, J-5, and J-6. DEQ responses to these comments are located in Appendices J-7 and J-8.
How to comment: DEQ accepts written comments by email, fax, and postal mail. In order to be considered, comments must include the full name, address and telephone number of the person commenting and be received by the DEQ contact listed below by the last day of the comment period. Both oral and written comments are accepted at the public hearing. DEQ prefers that comments be provided in writing, along with any supporting documents or exhibits. All testimony, exhibits and documents received are part of the public record. Please note this proposed plan is being concurrently reviewed by EPA.
To review proposal:
The proposal and any supporting documents are available on the DEQ Air Public Notices for Plans web site (http://www.deq.virginia.gov/air/permitting/planotes.html
). The documents may also be obtained by contacting the DEQ representative named below. The public may review the documents between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm of each business day until the close of the public comment period at the following DEQ locations: 1) Main Street Office, 8th Floor, 629 E. Main St, Richmond VA, 804-698-4070, 2) Southwest Regional Office, 355 Deadmore St, Abingdon VA, 540-676-4800, 3) Blue Ridge Regional Office, Roanoke Location, 3019 Peters Creek Rd, Roanoke VA, 540-562-6700, 4) Blue Ridge Regional Office, Lynchburg Location, 7705 Timberlake Rd, Lynchburg VA, 804-582-5120, 5) Valley Regional Office, 4411 Early Rd, Harrisonburg VA, 540-574-7800, 6) Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Rd, Glen Allen VA, 804-527-5020, 7) Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court, Woodbridge VA, 703-583-3800, and 8) Tidewater Regional Office, 5636 Southern Blvd, Virginia Beach VA 757-518-2000.