PO Box 15004, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5004
Phone: (928) 523-0526
Fax: (928) 523-1266 Andy.Bessler@nau.edu
NTAA Air Topics:
Regional Haze (Visibility)
EPA and other Agencies have been monitoring visibility in national parks and wilderness areas since 1988. In 1999, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency announced a major effort to improve air quality in national parks and wilderness areas. The Regional
Haze Rule calls for state and federal agencies to work together to improve visibility in 156 national parks and wilderness areas
such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Great Smokies and Shenandoah.
The rule requires the states, in coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and other interested parties, to develop and implement air quality protection plans to
reduce the pollution that causes visibility impairment. The first State plans for regional haze are due in the 2003-2008 timeframe.
Five multi-state regional planning organizations are working together now to develop the technical basis for these plans.
Upcoming EPA Regional Haze Rule Revisions
NTAA has submitted early comments to EPA in response to EPA’s request for comments for Tracking Visibility Progress in the Regional
Haze Rule that focus on the Reasonable Progress Framework on Controllable Emissions that contribute to Regional Haze. In addition,
comments were submitted by NTAA regarding the proposed delay of the current state implementation plan (SIP) submission deadlines,
the timing and format of progress reports, limiting requirements for reasonably attributable visibility impairment (RAVI) while expanding
the number of states that would be subject to Federal Land Management (FLM) RAVI certifications, and consultation with Indian Tribes
concerning the RHR and associated activities. EPA will be drafting a guidance document in the coming months and issue that guidance document for
further review in the new year.
Here is a link to a powerpoint presentation made during a 2015 Regional Haze meeting held in March, 2015 with Tribal representatives and EPA
officials regarding Tribal involvement in Regional Haze planning. Regional Haze Tribal Presentation