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Visibility and Haze

Visibility - Regulatory Actions

This page contains a chronological listing of all regulatory actions and announcements related to visibility.

Announcement: EPA will Revisit Aspects of the Regional Haze Rule

January 17, 2018 - The EPA is announcing its decision to revisit certain aspects of the 2017 Regional Haze Rule under our inherent rulemaking authority.

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Final Rulemaking Affirming the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) as an Alternative to Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART)

September 29, 2017 - This rule affirms the continued validity of the EPA's 2012 determination that participation in CSAPR meets the Regional Haze Rule's criteria for an alternative to the application of source-specific BART. The rule also withdraws the federal implementation plan provisions that require affected electricity generating units in Texas to participate in Phase 2 of the CSAPR emission allowance trading program for annual emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Final Rulemaking: Amendments to Regulatory Requirements for State Regional Haze Plans

December 14, 2016 - The EPA is finalizing revisions to requirements states must follow in preparing and submitting implementation plans and progress reports for visibility impairment.

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Proposed Rulemaking: Amendments to Regulatory Requirements for State Regional Haze Plans

May 4, 2016 - The EPA is proposing to revise the requirements states must follow in preparing and submitting implementation plans and progress reports for visibility impairment.

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Final Action to Allow Participation in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to serve as an Alternative to Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART)

May 30, 2012 - EPA has finalized a rule that allows the trading programs in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to serve as an alternative to determining source-by-source Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART).

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Proposed Action to Allow Participation in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to serve as an Alternative to Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART)

December 23, 2011 - EPA proposes to approve the trading program in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) as an alternative to determining source-by-source Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART).

Learn More - including Results of the Integrated Planning Model (IPM) for this Proposed Action

EPA Sets Schedule to Improve Visibility in the Nation's Most Treasured Natural Areas

November 9, 2011 - EPA issued a schedule to act on more than 40 state pollution reduction plans that will improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas and protect public health from the damaging effects of the pollutants that cause regional haze. EPA will accept public comment on this agreement for 30 days following publication of a notice in the Federal Register.

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EPA Makes Findings of Failure to Submit State Implementation Plans (SIPs) - 1999 Regional Haze Program

January 9, 2009 - EPA issued findings that 37 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands states missed Clean Air Act deadlines for submitting plans, or elements of plans, for implementing EPA's Regional Haze Program.

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EPA has finalized an emissions trading program to help state and tribal governments improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas

On October, 5, 2006, EPA finalized an alternative emissions trading program that gives flexibility for states or tribal governments in ways to apply Best Alternative Retrofit Technology (BART). The BART requirements would be satisfied if the trading program meets or exceeds the visibility benefits resulting from BART.

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Emissions Trading Could Satisfy Best Available Retrofit Technology Requirements Under EPA's Regional Haze Program

On July 20, 2005, EPA proposed a new regulation that would give states the option to develop an emissions trading program to improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas. EPA’s proposal outlines the process that a state or tribal governments would use to show that an emissions trading program could be used to meet the Clean Air Visibility Rule’s Best Available Retrofit Technology or BART Requirements. EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 45 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

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Final Clean Air Visibility Rule Will Restore Visibility in America's National Parks and Wilderness Areas

On June 15, 2005, EPA issued final amendments to its July 1999 regional haze rule. These amendments apply to the provisions of the regional haze rule that require emission controls known as Best Available Retrofit Technology, or BART, for industrial facilities emitting air pollutants that reduce visibility. These pollutants include fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and compounds which contribute to PM2.5 formation, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, certain volatile organic compounds, and ammonia. The amendments include final guidelines, known as BART guidelines, for states to use in determining which facilities must install controls and the type of controls the facilities must use.

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Results of the Integrated Planning Model (IPM) for the Final Amendments to the Regional Haze Regulations and Guidelines for BART Determinations

The IPM is a computer model that can be used to examine air pollution control policies for SO2 and NOX throughout the contiguous United States for the entire power sector. EPA used the IPM to model the impacts of BART on the electric power sector to develop the final BART rule.

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Proposed Rulemaking: Guidelines for Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) Determinations Under the Regional Haze Rule and Amendments to the Regional Haze Rule

April 15, 2004 - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend its regional haze rule to provide guidelines for state and tribal air quality agencies to use in determining how to set air pollution limits for a number of older, large utilities and other industrial plants, to address visibility impairment in scenic areas. In May 2002, the DC Circuit court vacated certain provisions of the regional haze rule related best available retrofit technology (BART). Because of this remand, we need to repropose guidelines intended to add further clarification to the BART requirements in the regional haze rule. The purpose of this rulemaking is to provide the appropriate changes to the BART requirements and guidelines.

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EPA’s 1999 Regional Haze Rule for Protection of Visibility in National Parks and Wilderness Areas

June 2, 1999 - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued regulations to improve visibility, or visual air quality, in 156 national parks and wilderness areas across the country.

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