Air Division

Ambient air monitoring throughout the state of Arkansas speaks to the effectiveness of the ADEQ's Air Division program -- Arkansas is only one of a handful of states in the country that currently and consistently meets all federal air quality standards for criteria pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, particulates, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and lead.

The Air Division also has received all delegable air programs, including the Title V program for major sources of pollutants, from Region 6 of the US Environmental Protection Agency. These programs include the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS), Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and the State Implementation Plan (SIP).

By working closely with businesses and industries, the Air Division issues permits that help maintain and improve the air quality for all citizens in the state. The Air Division has four branches, Program Support, Planning and Air Quality Analysis, Permits, and Compliance Monitoring. Staff in these branches are available to answer questions and help with any technical problems that arise.

111(d) Regulation: Upcoming Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants

Section 111, 42 U.S.C. §7411, of the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop regulations for categories of sources which cause or significantly contribute to air pollution which may endanger public health or welfare. Such regulations apply to each new source within a category without regard to source location or existing air quality.

Section 111(d) of the CAA requires states to develop plans for existing sources of non-criteria pollutants (i.e., a pollutant for which there is no national ambient air quality standard, also called “NAAQS”) whenever EPA promulgates a standard for a new source. These are called Section 111(d) plans and are subject to EPA review and approval.

Examples of source categories subject to 111(d) are existing municipal solid waste landfills, municipal waste combustors, sulfuric acid plants, primary aluminum reduction plants, and the phosphate fertilizer manufacturing facilities. (source: EPA)

On June 2, 2014, EPA issued a proposed rule for regulation of carbon pollution at existing power plants. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on June 18, 2014, with a final rule expected from EPA mid-summer 2015. Once final, each state will be responsible for developing a plan to comply with carbon pollution emissions guidelines. To prepare for the process, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is collaborating with the Arkansas Public Service Commission and interested public parties to form a workgroup to share information and discuss possible options for the Arkansas plan.

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Statewide modeling analysis completed

ADEQ recently released the results of a statewide modeling analysis for criteria pollutants. The objectives of the study were to evaluate future areas of concern for ozone, fine particulate matter (PM2.5,) sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) throughout the state, examine the expected changes in these pollutants between the base and future years, and identify areas in the state where additional air quality monitoring may be needed to ensure compliance with existing national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS.) The modeling used base years 2005 and 2008, and future year 2015. ADEQ will use the results to assist in future planning.

Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule

In response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule” (GHG Tailoring Rule), Arkansas submitted a SIP on Aug. 2, 2012. The SIP revision included amendments to Regulations No. 19, and No. 26 to incorporate the portions of the GHG Tailoring Rule that are needed for ADEQ to be able to permit greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting sources. So that there will be no period of time when businesses in Arkansas are unable to obtain the necessary permits, the responsibility of issuing the GHG portion of PSD permits to sources located in the state remained under the purview of EPA’s authority in accordance with the Federal Implementation Plan (FIP). Arkansas’s GHG Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Tailoring Rule SIP revisions were approved by EPA on April 2, 2013, granting ADEQ the authority to issue GHG permits in the state. Below is a link to a PowerPoint presentation with information about greenhouse gases and permitting in Arkansas.

Emissions Inventory & Ambient Air Monitoring of Natural Gas Production in the Fayetteville Shale Region

ADEQ completed a two-part study that estimated emissions associated with natural gas production and performed air quality monitoring at gas production sites in the Fayetteville Shale. The resulting inventory estimated county-level emissions from gas production for the year 2008. Ground-based ambient air monitoring was performed from 2010 - 2011 at sites including compressor stations that transport natural gas and new wells that were undergoing drilling or hydraulic fracturing. This preliminary study could support future assessments of the effects of natural gas production on air quality and public health.

Tips for Burning Wood

In the winter, residential wood smoke can be a significant source of fine particle pollution in many areas across the US. The pollutant can trigger asthma and aggravate other lung diseases. Research indicates that pregnant women, newborns, and people with certain health conditions, such as obesity or diabetes, also may be at increased risk. For more information on how to select the right wood visit EPA's Burnwise. The site also offers information on selecting wood-burning appliances and more. The videos below offer tips on how to properly dry, stack and store wood.