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

General Notice
General Notice - State Implementation Plan Proposed Revision - Richmond Air Quality Plan, Stage II
Date Posted: 9/11/2013
Expiration Date: 11/6/2013
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 plan to attain and maintain the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone in the Richmond-Petersburg Ozone Attainment/Maintenance Area. 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) of the federal Clean Air Act. The SIP is the plan developed by the Commonwealth in order to fulfill its responsibilities under the Act to attain and maintain the ambient air quality standards promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Purpose of notice: DEQ is seeking comments on the overall plan, and on the issue of whether the plan will enable the Richmond-Petersburg area to continue to meet the ozone NAAQS.

Public comment period: October 7 to November 6, 2013.

Public hearing: A public hearing will be conducted on November 5, 2013, in Conference Room A, Department of Environmental Quality, 629 E. Main Street, Richmond, Virginia at 1:30 pm. Directions may be found at

Description of proposal: The proposed revision revises the Richmond-Petersburg area's ozone maintenance plans such that Stage II vapor recovery systems on gasoline dispensing stations are no longer required beginning on January 1, 2017.

The Richmond-Petersburg area was originally designated as a moderate nonattainment area for the 1991 ozone NAAQS of 0.012 parts per million (ppm). The area’s air quality improved, and a redesignation request and maintenance plan were approved by EPA on November 17, 1997. On April 30, 2004, EPA designated the area as a moderate nonattainment area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS of 0.08 ppm. Again the area qualified for attainment status, and EPA approved a redesignation request and maintenance plan on June 1, 2007. Both maintenance plans contained emission reductions from the implementation of Stage II vapor controls. Since the most recent maintenance plan was developed and approved, the area has been attaining the current, more-protective ozone NAAQS of 0.075 ppm.  EPA has also determined that Stage II, which controls vapors emitted from gasoline pumps, is incompatible with and less effective in controlling vapors than onboard refueling vapor recovery, which controls vapors in individual vehicles. The Commonwealth has determined that Stage II is no longer needed in the area's maintenance plan, which is approved into the Virginia SIP at 40 CFR 52.2420(e).

Removing this requirement does not interfere with maintenance of any ozone NAAQS.  In addition to the incompatibility between Stage II controls and vehicles equipped with onboard refueling vapor recovery systems, volatile organic compound (VOC) reductions from other sources of emissions more than compensate for any emissions reductions that might be lost from the removal of Stage II requirements. Modeling studies also show that reductions in nitrogen oxides (NOX) are 10 to 1,000 times more effective than VOC reductions in lowering ozone concentrations in the Richmond-Petersburg area. Therefore, this SIP revision satisfies EPA's requirements regarding the removal of Stage II vapor recovery requirements and § 110(l) of the Clean Air Act.

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) of the federal Clean Air Act in accordance with 40 CFR 51.104. DEQ plans 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 on the last day of the comment period. All materials received are part of the public record.

To review proposal: 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) DEQ Main Street Office, 8th Floor, 629 E. Main St, Richmond VA, 804-698-4070, and 2) Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Rd, Glen Allen VA, 804-527-5020.

Contact Information
Name / Title: Doris A. McLeod 
Address: 629 East Main Street
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, 23218
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)698-4197    FAX: (804)698-4510    TDD: ()-