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EPA proposes to disapprove CA’s air quality plans


November 17, 2010
By Manure Manager

November 12, 2010, San
Francisco, CA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to
disapprove California’s air quality plans for fine particles – also known as
PM2.5 – for failure to achieve adequate emissions reductions in the South Coast
and San Joaquin Valley air basins notoriously known for poor air quality.

November 12, 2010, San
Francisco, CA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to
disapprove California’s air quality plans for fine particles – also known as
PM2.5 – for failure to achieve adequate emissions reductions in the South Coast
and San Joaquin Valley air basins notoriously known for poor air quality.

States are required to
submit plans to the EPA that identify how health-based air quality standards
will be attained in areas not meeting federal air quality standards. The plans
submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) aim to bring these areas
into attainment with the national health based standards for PM2.5. However,
the EPA cannot approve the plans since they rely heavily on emissions reduction
from rules that are being revised and have not been submitted to the EPA for
review. The state must submit the rules and also show how these rules will
achieve the plans’ air quality goals.

“California has a
history of adopting aggressive rules to tackle some of the worst air quality in
the nation, but we need to redouble our efforts,” said Jared Blumenfeld,
regional administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “[The] EPA will
continue to work with California to strengthen measures to improve air quality
for the millions of residents in the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley.”

The EPA is proposing to
approve portions of the plans, such as the emission reductions from state and
local rules that have been submitted to the EPA and approved. Some of the
locally adopted and EPA-approved rules include residential wood-burning
programs for both South Coast and San Joaquin Valley, and South Coast’s rules
controlling emissions from various industrial processes.

PM2.5 is made up of
small particles in the air that can penetrate deep into the lungs and worsen
medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Reducing the exposure of
particulate matter will ultimately decrease emergency room visits, hospital
admissions, and premature death. In September 2010, the state reported that
more than 9,000 people die prematurely in CA each year due to PM2.5 pollution.

The EPA intends to make
a final decision on the plans in 2011, after reviewing public comments. In the
event the agency finalizes these proposed disapprovals and the state fails to
correct the deficiencies in a timely manner, certain sanctions would apply.

For more information on
the proposed disapproval, please visit
http://www.epa.gov/region9/air/actions/ca.html.


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