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SIP Revision: Regional Haze

The regional-haze revision to the State Implementation Plan for air quality is the plan Texas must submit to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to show how the state will reduce regional haze in the air to natural background conditions.

2014 Five-Year Regional-Haze SIP Revision

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 in the state, and each Class I area outside the state that 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, which is project number 2013-013-SIP-NR.


Key dates for 2014 Five-Year Progress Report SIP revision—

  • Adopted: February 26, 2014
  • 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: on January 5, 2016,* the EPA published the evaluation (81 FR 296
  • 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 to the Texas 2009 regional-haze SIP evaluation so the EPA could propose by November 26, 2014 and take final action by September 4, 2015. Final action was further extended to December 2015 and the EPA signed the final rule in December 2015.

EPA's Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) Final on January 5, 2016

On January 5, 2016, the EPA finalized a partial disapproval of the Texas 2009 RH SIP revision and issued a FIP (81 FR 296 – effective February 4, 2016). The FIP included requirements for control upgrades or new emissions limits at eight coal-fired power plants in Texas. The FIP stated that seven power plants install additional emissions controls on specific units within three or five years of the effective date of the rule. The EPA also approved the Texas Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) rule with regard to non-electric generating units (EGU); however, the EPA did not take action on BART for EGUs due to continuing issues with the EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

2009 Regional Haze SIP

On February 25, 2009, the commission adopted revisions to the Texas SIP for visibility protection at Class I federal areas. No rulemaking occurred 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—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 shutdowns; 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 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 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

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 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 appear 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 the EPA in 2018. Every five years, the TCEQ is required to assess the states 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 and supplied those papers to the participants in the consultation calls.

Technical Papers


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 SIP Appendices, February 25, 2009
A list of the appendices for this revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality.
Texas belongs to the Central Regional Air Planning Association and Central States Air Resource Agencies—eight states that work together reducing regional haze.
Regional Haze: Resources
EPA documents, links, and contact information related to regional haze, BART, and CSAPR/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.