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EPA Approves Visibility Element of Florida’s Implementation Plan for Certain Particulate Matter and Ozone Air Quality Standards

Posted Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved of Florida’s state implementation plans (SIP) for the 1997 annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5), 2006 24-hour PM2.5, and 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) as related to “prong four” of the Clean Air Act’s (the Act’s) interstate transport requirements.  EPA describes the Act’s interstate transport requirements in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) as consisting of four prongs, with prong four requiring that the SIP include provisions to protect visibility in other states.  Prongs one and two prohibit states from contributing significantly to nonattainment or interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state, while prong three requires provisions prohibiting a source in the state from interfering with any measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state.  EPA’s approval is based on its prior approval of Florida’s regional haze SIP, which EPA concludes will ensure that emissions from Florida are not interfering with measures to protect visibility in other states.

While EPA’s approval only addresses prong four of the Act’s interstate transport requirements, EPA has previously approved of Florida’s SIP as satisfying all of the Act’s other requirements for these three NAAQS except prongs one and two for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 and 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.  EPA’s delay in action on these remaining requirements is related to the D.C. Circuit’s vacatur of EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which was recently reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

EPA’s approval is effective September 24, 2014.

For additional information, contact Andrew Holway.

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