Beveridge & Diamond
Related Practices
Related Practices

EPA Issues Fine Particle SIP Rule

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., April 26, 2007

On April 25, 2007, EPA published its Clean Air Fine Particle Implementation Rule (72 Fed. Reg. 20586, 40 C.F.R. 51), which provides guidance to states on State Implementation Plan (SIP) attainment demonstrations, attainment dates and air quality modeling for fine particles smaller than 2.5 microns diameter (PM2.5).  The rule implements EPA's 1997 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), which was held up for years by industry challenges.  The standard currently being implemented is 15 ug/m3 yearly average and 65 ug/m3 over 24 hours.  Ironically, the 1997 standard has already been superseded by a new standard issued in 2006, which reduces the 24-hour average to 35 ug/m3; however, regulations implementing the 2006 standard are still years away.  

Although EPA anticipates substantial Particulate Matter (PM) reduction from recent federal programs, such as the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and various mobile engine rules (Tier 2 fuel standards, heavy duty diesel engines, etc.), concurrent local measures may be needed to reach attainment.  States must submit PM2.5 SIPs by April 2008, with attainment by 2010, unless the State is granted an extension.  The rule regulates five PM precursors: direct PM2.5 (e.g., organic carbon, elemental carbon and crustal material), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, VOCs and ammonia.  SIPs must contain reasonably available control measures consistent with guidance in the April 2007 rule.  

The Implementation Rule will affect states, industrial sources and transportation planners in 39 PM nonattainment areas, as states struggle to find ways to meet the stricter air quality standards.

For more information, please contact David Friedland at (202) 789-6047, or Max Williamson at (202) 789-6084,