Proposed Revision to the State Implementation Plan; Regional Haze Best Available Retrofit Technology; Public Hearings
[54 Pa.B. 554]
[Saturday, February 3, 2024]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is seeking public comment on a proposed State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision updating the Commonwealth's best available retrofit technology (BART) determinations. This proposed SIP revision is being submitted to satisfy the visibility and regional haze provisions of sections 169A and 169B of the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) (42 U.S.C. §§ 7491—7492) and the Federal Regional Haze Rule (RHR) in 40 CFR 51.308 (relating to regional haze program requirements).
The Federal CAA and RHR require the Commonwealth to address regional haze in each mandatory Class I Federal area located outside this Commonwealth which may be affected by emissions from within this Commonwealth with the goal of restoring natural visibility conditions in those areas by 2064. A state's regional haze implementation plan must demonstrate reasonable progress toward achieving natural visibility conditions to Class I Federal areas. The RHR further requires that SIPs address emission limitations and compliance schedules for BART-eligible sources to demonstrate emission reductions and visibility improvement. The EPA issued guidelines at 70 FR 39104 (July 6, 2005) for states to consult when conducting their regional haze BART analyses.
The Commonwealth's ''Revision to the State Implementation Plan for Regional Haze'' (2010 Regional Haze SIP revision) received limited approval by the EPA at 77 FR 41279 (July 13, 2012), which the agency amended on August 13, 2012 (77 FR 48061). The EPA then reissued limited approval on April 30, 2014 (79 FR 24340), which included approval of the Department's BART analyses. The EPA's limited approval was challenged in National Parks Conservation Ass'n et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 803 F.3d 151 (3d. Cir. 2015) (National Parks).
This proposed SIP revision addresses the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit's September 29, 2015, opinion in that case. Specifically, the Third Circuit partially vacated the EPA's April 30, 2014, reissuance of its limited approval of the Commonwealth's 2010 Regional Haze SIP revision to the extent that the EPA approved the Commonwealth's source-specific BART analyses. National Parks, 803 F.3d at 167. The Court concluded that the EPA arbitrarily approved the Commonwealth's SIP given what it characterized as multiple flaws in the Commonwealth's BART analyses. The Third Circuit held that the EPA did not provide a sufficient explanation as to why it overlooked these problems and approved the Commonwealth's SIP revision. The Court remanded this matter to the EPA and required the agency to demonstrate its work.
Upon submittal of a final SIP revision, the Department will concurrently send a letter to the EPA requesting a withdrawal of the BART determinations in sections 8.5 and 8.6 of Pennsylvania's 2010 Regional Haze SIP revision, as well as the Department's BART review memos in Appendix J of Pennsylvania's 2010 Regional Haze SIP revision.
Although the Department is requesting the withdrawal of the BART determinations and the accompanying memos included in the Commonwealth's 2010 Regional Haze SIP revision, the permit conditions and consent decrees remain effective and enforceable and continue to yield the same emission reductions. Many sources within this Commonwealth have committed to install, and have installed, controls through several mechanisms, including Federally enforceable permits and Federal and State consent agreements. In addition to the control measures detailed in the Commonwealth's 2010 Regional Haze SIP revision, additional regulations have been adopted and actions have been taken by the Department that will reduce visibility impairing pollutants in Class I Federal areas. Also, several large electric generating units have announced plans to shut down, deactivate sources or curtail emissions by adding dual-fire capacity or converting to natural gas, which will lead to additional significant reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions. While these changes are not discussed in detail in this SIP revision, they are the focus of the Commonwealth's Regional Haze 5-Year Progress Report, which is being sent to the EPA as a separate SIP revision.
The RHR requires states to consult with the Federal Land Managers (FLM) at least 60 days prior to the scheduled public hearing on the proposed Regional Haze SIP revision. Section 169A(d) of the CAA (42 U.S.C. § 7491(d)), requires states to include a summary of the conclusions and recommendations of the FLMs in the notice to the public. The United States National Park Service and the United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service provided comments to the Department. The United States Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service did not submit any comments. A summary of the comments submitted by the FLMs, and the Department's responses, is available in Appendix F of the proposed Regional Haze SIP revision.
This proposed SIP revision and appendices are available on the Department's web site at http://www.ahs. dep.pa.gov/eComment.
The Department will provide the opportunity for three public hearings to receive comments on this proposed SIP revision as follows:
• March 7, 2024, at 10 a.m. at the Department's Southeast Regional Office, Delaware River Conference Room, 2 East Main Street, Norristown, PA.
• March 7, 2024, at 1 p.m. at the Department's Southcentral Regional Office, Susquehanna Conference Room, 909 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA.
• March 7, 2024, at 1 p.m. at the Department's Southwest Regional Office, Waterfront Conference Rooms, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA.
Persons wishing to present testimony should contact Amanda Rodriguez at P.O. Box 8468, Harrisburg, PA 17105, (717) 787-7677 or email@example.com to reserve a time. Witnesses will be limited to 10 minutes and should provide two written copies of their comments.
If by noon on Monday, March 4, 2024, no person has expressed an interest in testifying at the hearing, the hearing will be canceled. The Department will provide public notice on the Bureau of Air Quality webpage at http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Air/BAQ/Pages/default. aspx if the hearing is canceled. Persons may also contact the Department to find out if the hearing is canceled by contacting Amanda Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 787-9702.
Persons with a disability who wish to attend a hearing and require an auxiliary aid, service or other accommodation to participate in the proceeding should contact Amanda Rodriguez at (717) 787-7677 or amarodrigu@ pa.gov. TDD users may contact the Pennsylvania Hamilton Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 to discuss how the Department can best accommodate their needs.
The Department must receive comments no later than March 8, 2024. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's eComment system at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment or by e-mail to ecomment@ pa.gov. Written comments can be submitted to the Policy Office, Department of Environmental Protection, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063. Use ''Regional Haze BART'' as the subject line in written communication.
Interim Acting Secretary
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 24-132. Filed for public inspection February 2, 2024, 9:00 a.m.]
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