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SIP Revision: Regional Haze

The Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision is the plan Texas must submit to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to show how the state will reduce regional haze in the air to natural background conditions.

Updated 2/26/2014

2014 Five-Year Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP)

At the February 26, 2014 agenda, the commission adopted the 2014 Five-Year Regional Haze SIP Revision. This SIP revision evaluated Texas' progress towards the reasonable progress goal for each Class I area located within the state and in each Class I area outside the state which may be affected by emissions from Texas. The TCEQ projects that Texas will meet the established reasonable progress goals set by the state for 2018 for all Class I areas it affects.

This five-year progress report does not require modeling and uses the analysis in the 2011 Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) report to show whether the Class I areas of concern are on the glide path to improvement or not. The EPA guidance for the five-year progress report was released on April 12, 2013. No rulemaking was proposed with this SIP revision. This SIP revision is project number 2013-013-SIP-NR.

Schedule

Key dates in proposed 2014 SIP revision:

  • 2014 five-year progress report: proposal approved at June 18, 2013 agenda; adoption approved at February 26, 2014 agenda; due to EPA March 2014
  • Federal Land Managers and EPA comment period: June 19 through August 20, 2013
  • Public comment period: August 21 through October 1, 2013
  • Public Hearing: September 24, 2013

Key dates in past and future SIP revisions:

  • TCEQ adoption date for initial SIP: February 25, 2009
  • EPA evaluation of 2009 SIP revision: by September 4, 2015*
  • Next revision due: July 2018
  • Review every five years: through 2064 or until natural conditions are met

*On May 7, 2014, the EPA requested that the D.C. District Court grant another extension on the Texas 2009 Regional Haze SIP evaluation so the EPA can propose by November 26, 2014 and take final action by September 4, 2015.

2009 Regional Haze SIP

On February 25, 2009, the commission adopted revisions to the Texas SIP for visibility protection at Class I Federal areas. There was no rulemaking adopted with this SIP. The revision was project No. 2007-016-SIP-NR.

The regional haze SIP revision is the plan Texas must submit to the EPA to show how Texas will reduce regional haze to natural conditions. This SIP revision includes all existing control strategies for the Dallas and Houston areas, other statewide and federal controls, and Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART).

The long-term goal is to restore air quality to natural conditions. Natural conditions are defined by the EPA as the visibility conditions that would be experienced in the absence of pollution from human activities. The goal set by Congress is for all Class I Federal areas to meet natural conditions by 2064. The “glide path” is the path to the 2064 goal. Currently, the baseline haze level at Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks is approximately 16 deciviews.

Chart showing Natural conditions in 60 years.

 

Solid red line represents glide path.
Source: Adapted from EPA-454/B-03-005, Guidance for Estimating Natural Visibility Conditions Under the Regional Haze Program.

The BART Rule was adopted by the TCEQ in January 2007 to allow the state to require BART modeling from specific industries or sources. A number of sources that appeared to be BART-eligible applied for and obtained legally enforceable reductions in their allowable emissions. Some of the reductions were from shut downs; others resulted from reducing permitted emissions rates on units that had larger allowables than they needed to operate. After final modeling incorporated these reductions in allowable emissions, Texas was left with no BART-eligible sources. An updated list of potentially BART-eligible sources is in the SIP Appendix 9-13. For more information on BART, see the related web page Regional Haze: Rulemaking (BART and CAIR).

Texas used the Central Regional Air Planning Association's (CENRAP) template for the regional haze SIP revision. The CENRAP states worked together with the EPA and Federal Land Managers to develop a format that stakeholders found acceptable. Each state adapted the template as needed.

Technical Issues

Regional Haze Consultation with Other States
The TCEQ provided a summary paper to participants in the regional haze consultation calls on July 11, 18 and 31, 2007. The TCEQ held these calls with other states, Federal Land Managers, and the EPA and offered the opportunity for other interested parties to listen to the consultation calls.

Texas' Regional Haze Summary of Major Issues is the summary the TCEQ provided to the participants in the consultation conference calls. The summaries of the three consultation conference calls are provided below:

The TCEQ continues to consult with other states. Regional haze SIP revisions are required every 10 years, so the next revision is due to EPA in 2018. Every five years, the TCEQ is required to assess the state's progress towards natural conditions.

The TCEQ developed four issue papers regarding its analyses of some of the technical issues in developing the 2009 regional haze SIP revision. These issue papers were provided to the participants in the consultation calls.

Technical Papers

  • Uniform Rates of Progress and Projected 2018 Reasonable Progress Goals The first issue concerned the uniform rate of progress to reduce haze by 2018. The TCEQ’s preliminary analyses indicate that, without international emissions, Texas’ Class I areas would be close to achieving the uniform rate of progress for 2018.
  • Dust Storms and Regional Haze The second issue concerned natural events that contribute to regional haze. Texas cannot control these natural events, and consequently these events are considered part of the natural conditions in developing a regional haze SIP.
  • Estimating Natural Conditions Based on Revised IMPROVE Algorithm The third issue concerned natural conditions or conditions that would be present without pollution from human activities. The IMPROVE algorithm was revised in 2005. The Texas 2009 Regional Haze SIP revision used the revised IMPROVE equation for all baseline, control strategy, and natural condition calculations.
  • Integrated Planning Model Projections of Electric Generating Unit Emissions for the Regional Haze SIP Revision The fourth issue concerned the use of the EPA’s Integrated Planning Model (IPM), Version 2.19, versus Version 3.0. Based on its analyses, the TCEQ concluded that photochemical modeling using inputs for electric generating units (EGU) from the earlier version of the IPM was a viable option for SIP planning in Texas.

Comments

Federal Land Managers' Comments

As required by the Regional Haze Rule 40 CFR 51.308, the TCEQ made the Federal Land Managers' comments available before the public hearing. The following comments were received:

Other Comments

The following comments are in no particular order.

Topics Under this Category

Overview-Regional Haze
Overview of haze-forming pollution and the EPA's Regional Haze rule to reduce haze in national parks and wilderness areas.
Regional Haze
Discusses Texas' strategies to implement the U.S. EPA's rule on regional haze.
Regional Haze SIP Appendices, February 25, 2009
A list of the appendices for this revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality.
Regional Haze: CENRAP/CENSARA
Texas belongs to the Central Regional Air Planning Association and Central States Air Resource Agencies—nine states that work together reducing regional haze.
Regional Haze: Resources
EPA documents, links, and contact information related to regional haze, BART, and the CAIR.
Regional Haze: Rulemaking (BART and CSAPR/CAIR)
Rulemaking related to Best Available Retrofit Technology and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule/Clean Air Interstate Rule to reduce regional haze.