EPA Approves First State Clean Air Plans

[EPA press release - August 13, 1971]

EPA Administrator William D. Ruckelshaus announced today that he has approved portions of several regional air pollution control plans for sulfur oxides and particulate matter. The plans were prepared by State governments prior to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970. His action marked the first time that the EPA has approved such State plans.

Twenty-one implementation plans were submitted last year by 15 States for 13 air quality control regions, and were originally required to meet State air quality standards under the Clean Air Act before it was amended. However, under the 1970 amendments, State plans must satisfy a number of other new requirements, all of which will be spelled out in regulations scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on August 14.

In approving the portions of plans that have been submitted under the old law, Ruckelshaus pointed out that they satisfy the new requirements called for under the 1970 Clean Air Amendments.

The approved portions of the State plans include regulations judged adequate for attainment and maintenance of national primary (health-related) air quality standards for particulate matter or sulfur oxides or both. In some instances, the plans provide for the achievement of the national secondary standards for these pollutants, which the EPA promulgated on April 30, 1971.

None of the State plans submitted for approval meets all the new requirements called for by the 1970 Clean Air Amendments. In each case, the States are being advised of needed revisions, and are being given six months to comply with the new requirements.

The States are being asked to make the needed revisions as part of more comprehensive implementation plans due from all States by the end of January 1972. These plans call for attaining and maintaining national standards for carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen dioxide, and photochemical oxidants as well as sulfur oxides and particulate matter.

The jurisdictions that submitted air pollution control plans are: Indiana's Metropolitan Chicago Region; District of Columbia's National Capital Region; Pennsylvania's Metropolitan Philadelphia Region; Southwest Pennsylvania Region; California's Metropolitan Los Angeles and San Francisco regions; Massachusetts' Metropolitan Boston Region; New York's New Jersey-New York-Connecticut Region; Delaware's Metropolitan Philadelphia Region; Illinois' Metropolitan Chicago Region; Connecticut's Hartford-New Haven-Springfield and New Jersey-New York-Connecticut regions; Maryland's Metropolitan Baltimore and National Capital regions; Colorado's Metropolitan Denver Region; Virginia's National Capital Region; Missouri's Metropolitan St. Louis and Kansas City regions; Kansas' Kansas City Region; and New Jersey's Metropolitan Philadelphia and New Jersey-New York-Connecticut regions.