What's New at ADEQ?

Study to Characterize Community Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Tri-State Area around the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area

As part of a one-year study being conducted by the University of Memphis (U of M) and the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD), the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement to allow U of M and SCHD to operate a monitor for coarse particulate matter (PM10) at the Marion, Arkansas air monitoring site at the corner of Polk and Colonial Drive. The monitor is just one of 20 sites operated by SCHD and U of M located throughout the Memphis metropolitan statistical area. All costs associated with the operation of this monitor will be paid by the U of M or SCHD.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the ambient concentrations and distributions of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons to identify major sources and assess risks to the public health. Human exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, birth defects, asthma, and certain types of cancer. The monitor will collect samples of PM10 for 24 hours every 12 days throughout the study period. These samples will be analyzed at the U of M laboratory for 35 unique PAH species.

Georgia-Pacific Plywood Fire Emergency Response Incident and Follow-Up Memorandum

On October 28, 2017, at approximately 9:37 a.m., the Georgia-Pacific Plywood facility (alternatively referred to as “the site”) in Crossett, Arkansas was reported to have caught fire and local authorities were dispatched to assist in responding to the fire. Tiffany Wooten, an ADEQ Office of Air Quality Inspector, was contacted at 10:30 a.m. by Ms. Sarah Ross, Environmental Manager at the Georgia-Pacific Crossett, LLC Paper Mill, to inform ADEQ of the fire. The Georgia-Pacific Plywood Fire Emergency Response Incident & Follow-Up memorandum, includes an account of ADEQ’s response to the initial incident and follow-up inspection.

Blanz Selected to Serve on Two EPA Boards

Dr. Bob Blanz, Chief Technical Officer of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), has been selected to serve on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) and Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC). The SAB is a chartered Federal Advisory Committee established to provide independent scientific and technical peer review, consultation, advice, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator for EPA’s actions and programs. The BOSC provides advice, information, and recommendations for EPA’s Office of Research and Development program. Dr. Blanz will serve as Vice-Chair of the Sustainable Water Committee of the BOSC.

Director Becky Keogh issued the following statement:
“I know that Arkansas and EPA will be well served with the appointment of Dr. Blanz, ADEQ's first Chief Technical Officer, to the Science Advisory Board and Board of Scientific Counselors. Dr. Blanz has remarkable technical knowledge. He is respected as a thought leader. And he is an admired, environmental professional. Throughout his career, Dr. Blanz has advanced practical and sound solutions to technical and policy related environmental issues. His appointment to each board is well deserved.”

ADEQ Proposes Regional Haze SIP Revision

On October 31, 2017, ADEQ proposed revisions to the State’s Regional Haze SIP. The proposed revisions address the following required elements of the Regional Haze program:

  • Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) eligible sources and subject-to-BART Sources
  • PM and SO2 BART requirements for Arkansas Power Plants
  • BART compliance dates
  • Reasonable progress goals
  • Long-term strategy

ADEQ will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 and will accept written and electronic comments until 4:30 p.m. (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Office of Air Quality Announces the Availability of Updated Meteorological Data

Starting January 1, 2018, a new five-year set of data for minor new source review and non-criteria pollutant dispersion modeling will be used. This data range is updated every five years and announced three months in advance of the effective date to use the data. Any applications received after the effective date should use the new data set. Pending applications will use the data in effect at the time of application receipt unless otherwise approved by ADEQ. These data files may be downloaded now under the “Met Data” folder.

The Beautiful Buffalo River Action Committee (BBRAC) is an Arkansas-led collaborative established by Governor Asa Hutchinson to protect and enhance the Buffalo River Watershed through partnership, research, and action.

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