EPA Approves New York and New Jersey Clean Air Plans
NEW YORK - In conjunction with Air Quality Awareness Week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 recently approved several updates to New York and New Jersey’s clean air plans. Under the Clean Air Act, states must update their clean air plan, called a State Implementation Plan (SIP), when national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) are changed to demonstrate how they will implement, attain, maintain and enforce the new standards. Both New York and New Jersey have updated their SIPs to meet the current federal requirements for various elements and air quality standards.
“We commend New York and New Jersey for taking the necessary actions to run effective air quality programs,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “These clean air plans and EPA’s approvals show EPA and the states’ continued commitment to protecting public health and the environment while improving air quality for future generations.”
The states’ actions and EPA’s recent approvals address different Clean Air Act required elements of meeting the air quality standards set by EPA. EPA approved revisions to New York’s SIP for several elements of the 2008 8-hour ozone air standards, including control technologies applicable to facilities that are designated as major sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and enhancements to its regulations covering solvent metal cleaning processes that emit VOCs. EPA also approved revisions to New Jersey’s SIP for transport elements of the lead, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter standards and elements of the ozone standard including controls on gasoline transfer operations. These actions provide significant progress in addressing backlogged SIPs and EPA will continue to collaborate with state agencies in addressing other SIP revisions.
By meeting EPA’s national and regional rules to reduce emissions of pollutants, states help protect public health through air quality management. Nationally, concentrations of all air pollutants regulated under NAAQS – ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide – have significantly decreased thanks to the various air quality management and control strategies developed and implemented at the local, state, regional, and national level. Regionally, over the last 10 years, New York and New Jersey have seen a decrease in the number of unhealthy Air Quality Index days.
For more information about State Implementation Plans in Region 2, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/air-quality-implementation-plans/approved-air-quality-implementation-plans-region-2
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