Regional Haze Program

In 1977, Congress added § 169 to the Clean Air Act (CAA), which set forth the following goal for restoring pristine conditions in national parks and wilderness areas:

Congress hereby declares as a national goal the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility in mandatory Class I Federal areas which impairment results from man-made air pollution.

In 1999, EPA promulgated the “Regional Haze Regulations: Final Rule” (also referred to as the Regional Haze Rule) to address the combined visibility effects of various pollution sources over a wide geographic region with the goal of achieving natural visibility conditions at designated Class I areas by 2064. This program requires all states, including those that do not have Class I areas to participate in planning, analysis, and emission control programs to comply with the Regional Haze Rule. States with Class I areas are required to conduct certain analyses to establish goals for each Class I area in the state to 1) improve visibility on the haziest days and 2) ensure no degradation occurs on the clearest days. These goals and long-term strategies to achieve these goals are to be included in state implementation plans (SIPs) covering each ten-year period leading up to 2064. Amendments to the Regional Haze Rule were finalized in 2005 and 2017.

Arkansas Regional Haze Planning Period 1 SIP

Arkansas coordinates with other states in the Central Region Air Planning Association regional planning organization to evaluate sources impacting visibility at Class I areas and cooperatively develop emission control strategies to improve visibility.

Regional Planning Organizations

In 2008, Arkansas submitted a SIP to meet the requirements of the Regional Haze Rule for the 2008–2018 planning period; however, EPA partially approved and partially disapproved the SIP. EPA approved the following elements of the 2008 Arkansas Regional Haze State Implementation Plan:

  • Identification of Class I areas affected by sources in Arkansas;
  • Determination of baseline and natural visibility conditions;
  • Determination of a uniform rate of progress (URP);
  • Select best available retrofit technology (BART) determinations:
    • Particulate matter (PM) determination on AEP Flint Creek Plant Boiler No. 1;
    • Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and PM determinations for the natural gas firing scenario for Entergy Lake Catherine Plant Unit 4
    • PM determinations for both bituminous and sub-bituminous coal firing scenarios for Entergy White Bluff Plant Units 1 and 2;
    • PM determination for Domtar Ashdown Mill Power Boiler No. 1
  • Consultation with FLMs and other states regarding reasonable progress goals (RPGs) and long-term strategy;
  • Coordination of regional haze and reasonably attributable visibility impairment (RAVI);
  • Regional haze monitoring strategy and other SIP requirements under 40 C.F.R. 51.308(d)(4);
  • A commitment to submit periodic regional haze SIP revisions; and
  • A commitment to submit periodic progress reports that include a description of progress toward RPGs and a determination of adequacy of the existing SIP.

EPA disapproved the following elements of the 2008 AR RH SIP:

  • BART compliance dates;
  • BART-eligible sources and subject-to-BART sources;
  • Select BART determinations:
    • SO2, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and PM BART determinations for AECC Bailey Plant Unit 1;
    • SO2, NOx, and PM BART determinations for AECC McClellan Plant Unit 1;
    • SO2 and NOx BART determinations for AEP Flint Creek Plant Boiler No. 1;
    • SO2, NOx, and PM BART determinations for the fuel oil firing scenario and NOx BART determination for the natural gas firing scenario at Entergy Lake Catherine Plant Unit 4;
    • SO2 and NOx BART determinations under both bituminous and sub-bituminous coal firing scenarios for Entergy White Bluff Units 1 and 2;
    • BART determination for Entergy White Bluff Plant Auxiliary Boiler;
    • SO2 and NOx BART determinations for Domtar Ashdown Mill Power Boiler No. 1; and
    • SO2, NOx, and PM BART determinations for Domtar Ashdown Mill Power Boiler No. 2;
  • RPGs; and
  • Long-term strategy.

EPA’s partial approval/partial disapproval of the 2008 Arkansas Regional Haze SIP triggered a requirement for EPA to either approve a SIP revision by Arkansas or promulgate a federal implementation plan (FIP) within twenty-four months of the final rule partially approving and partially disapproving the 2008 Arkansas Regional Haze SIP. A FIP to address disapproved portions of the 2008 Arkansas Regional Haze SIP was promulgated in September of 2016.

Revisions to the Arkansas Regional Haze Planning Period 1 SIP

On July 8, 2017 Arkansas proposed revisions to certain disapproved portions of the Arkansas Regional Haze SIP. The proposed SIP revision seeks to replace source-specific NOx BART determinations included in the 2008 Arkansas Regional Haze SIP, as well as limits promulgated under the 2016 FIP, with reliance on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule emissions trading program as an alternative to BART for Arkansas BART-eligible fossil fuel-fired electric generating units as allowed under 40 C.F.R. 308(e)(4). Other disapproved portions of the 2008 Arkansas Regional Haze SIP will be addressed in a separate SIP revision.

Proposed SIP

In accordance with Regional Haze Rule requirements, ADEQ offered the opportunity for consultation on the proposed SIP revision to Missouri Department of Natural Resources—Missouri has two Class I areas impacted by Arkansas sources—and the federal land managers of the Class I areas in Arkansas and Missouri. Missouri Department of Natural Resources did not have any comments. ADEQ met with the Forest Supervisors of the Ouachita and Ozark, St. Francis National Forest. ADEQ also provided information to representatives of the United States Forest Service and United States Fish and Wildlife Service. ADEQ received the following written comments from the United States Forest Service:

The comment period on the proposed SIP revision expired at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 14, 2017. A public hearing was held on August 14, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. A recording of the public hearing is available. ADEQ received two oral comments and ten written comments during the public comment period.

ADEQ received one comment after the expiration of the public comment period. Although this comment cannot be included in the administrative record for the SIP revision, you can view this comment.

On September 11, 2017, EPA proposed to approve Arkansas SIP revision addressing NOx requirements for electric generating units. EPA is also proposing to withdraw NOx emission limits for electric generating units included in their 2016 FIP. EPA will accept comments on the proposed approval until October 11, 2017.

Correspondence with Affected Parties to the Regional Haze SIP and FIP