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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Air Pollution Control Board

General Notice
Public Comment Period - Proposed State Implementation Plan Revision (General Conformity)
Date Posted: 4/18/2011
Expiration Date: 6/8/2011
Submitted to Registrar for publication: YES
No comment forum defined for this notice.
Notice of action: The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on a proposed revision to the Commonwealth of Virginia State Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP is a plan developed by the Commonwealth in order to fulfill its responsibilities under the federal Clean Air Act to attain and maintain the ambient air quality standards promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Act. The Commonwealth intends to submit the regulation to EPA as a revision to the SIP in accordance with the requirements of § 110(a) of the federal Clean Air Act.
Regulations affected: The regulation of the board affected by this action is General Conformity (9VAC5-20-21, Rev. F10).
Purpose of notice: DEQ is seeking comment on the issue of whether the regulation amendments should be submitted as a revision to the SIP.
Public comment period: May 9 to June 8, 2011.
Public hearing: A public hearing may be conducted if a request is made in writing to the contact listed below. In order to be considered, the request must include the full name, address and telephone number of the person requesting the hearing and be received by DEQ by the last day of the comment period. Notice of the date, time, and location of any requested public hearing will be announced in a separate notice, and another 30-day comment period will be conducted.
Public comment stage: The regulation amendments are exempt from the state administrative procedures for adoption of regulations contained in Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act by the provisions of § 2.2-4006 A 4 a of the Administrative Process Act because they are necessary to conform to Virginia statutory law. Since the amendments are exempt from administrative procedures for the adoption of regulations, DEQ is accepting comment only on the issue cited above under "purpose of notice" and not on the content of the regulation amendments.
Description of proposal: The proposed revision will consist of amendments to existing regulation provisions concerning general conformity, 9VAC5 Chapter 160. The major provisions of the proposal are summarized as follows: The federal Clean Air Act requires that federal plans, programs and projects conform with state and federal air quality implementation plans. That is, federal agencies must make determinations that general federal actions, such as prescribed burning, military base closings, and real estate developments, conform with Virginia's SIP. On July 17, 2006 (71 FR 40420), EPA revised its general conformity regulations to add PM2.5 de minimis emission levels for general conformity applicability. On April 5, 2010 (75 FR 17254), EPA further revised its general conformity requirements in order to address a number of implementation issues, and to improve the program's ability to facilitate federal agency compliance with conforming their activities to the SIPs, thereby preventing violations of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). EPA deleted 40 CFR 51.850 and 40 CFR 51.51.852 through 51.860, since those sections merely repeated the language in 40 CFR 93.150 and 40 CFR 93.152 through 93.160. EPA then included a requirement in 40 CFR 51.851 that the general conformity SIP must meet the requirements in 40 CFR Part 93, subpart B, which were in turn revised to effect the needed program changes. The Virginia general conformity regulation must meet these new federal requirements.
Federal information: This notice is being given to satisfy the public participation requirements of federal regulations (40 CFR 51.102) and not any provision of state law. Except as noted below, the proposal will be submitted as a revision to the Commonwealth of Virginia SIP under § 110(a) of the federal Clean Air Act 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.
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 DEQ by the last day of the comment period. Commenters submitting faxes are encouraged to provide the signed original by postal mail within one week. All testimony, exhibits and documents received are part of the public record.
To review regulation documents: The proposal and any supporting documents are available on the DEQ Air Public Notices for Plans web site ( 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) Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Rd, Glen Allen VA, 804-527-5020, 3) Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court, Woodbridge VA, 703-583-3800, and 4) Tidewater Regional Office, 5636 Southern Blvd, Virginia Beach VA, 757-518-2000.

Contact Information
Name / Title: Karen G. Sabasteanski 
Address: 629 East Main Street
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, 23218
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)698-4426    FAX: (804)698-4510    TDD: ()-