ADEQ Requests Reconsideration of Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan

On November 22, 2016, the Attorney General filed a request on behalf of ADEQ for reconsideration of EPA’s Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan for the State of Arkansas. Among other issues, ADEQ requests that EPA reconsider mandating the installation of certain controls on Entergy’s Independence facility based on 2015 data that shows the State is already exceeding its 2018 visibility improvement goal and reconsider allowing the use of EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule to meet certain requirements under the Rule. In addition, ADEQ requests an administrative stay pending resolution of the issues presented in its request.

Air Quality

Ambient air monitoring throughout the state of Arkansas speaks to the effectiveness of the ADEQ's Air Quality 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 Office of Air Quality 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 Office of Air Quality issues permits that help maintain and improve the air quality for all citizens in the state. The Office of Air Quality 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.

Carbon Emission Standards for the Power Sector under the Clean Power Plan

On August 3, 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released final rules for the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new power plants as well as carbon dioxide emission standards for existing power plants—commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). EPA also proposed model plans as well as a federal plan that would be implemented if a state or states fail to submit an approvable State plan to comply with the carbon emission standards for existing power plants. EPA will be taking comments on both the proposed federal plan and the proposed model plans for a period of 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.

On October 9th, ADEQ, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC), and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) will begin meeting with interested parties (stakeholders) to discuss the final carbon dioxide emission standards for existing power plants, study the efficacy and economic impacts of potential carbon reduction measures from the power sector, and develop a state strategy for Arkansas.

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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.