What's New at ADEQ?

Public Comment on Asbestos Grant Guidelines Accepted Through November 1, 2017

ADEQ distributes $150,000 each fiscal year to cities and counties through the Arkansas Asbestos Grant Program, a competitive program to help with abatement, stabilization, and remediation in asbestos-related activities. The program is self-funded through associated fees. We encourage community engagement by asking for public comment on the grant guidelines, which should be written and submitted by November 1, 2017, to abatementgrant@adeq.state.ar.us or Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Asbestos Grant Program, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118.

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.

ADEQ Requests Stakeholder Input Regarding the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust

The ADEQ Office of Air Quality and Office of Energy are working to develop a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) for the use of funds made available through two consent decrees resulting from litigation against Volkswagen. The consent decrees were agreed upon to partially settle allegations that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by selling vehicles equipped with emission control defeat devices that allowed the vehicles to pass nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions tests, while allowing much higher emissions during normal vehicle operation. Arkansas is to receive $14,647,709.09 to be used on NOx mitigation projects over a ten year period as a result of the settlement.

In order to assist with development of a final BMP, ADEQ is requesting input from all interested stakeholders concerning NOx emission mitigation projects to be implemented in the State. Instructions for submitting information about mitigation actions that Arkansas should consider in developing its BMP may be found on ADEQ’s Volkswagen Mitigation Trust web page.

2018 Water Assessment Methodology Review

ADEQ is in Phase II of a three-phase review process for the Assessment Methodology in preparation for the 2018 305(b) report and 2018 303(d) list (impaired waterbodies list). A stakeholder workgroup made up of various local, state, and federal government representatives; industrial, municipal, and utility representatives; and conservation and environmental representatives will discuss possible revisions to the current 2016 Assessment Methodology.

ADEQ’s Regional Services staff will offer free compliance assistance workshops in November. Details are on the registration form.

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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