The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently published a final rule in the Federal Register finding that the State of Illinois failed to submit a State Implementation Plan (“SIP”) to satisfy the attainment and maintenance interstate transport requirements of the Clean Air Act with respect to the 2006 24-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”) for fine particulate matter (24-hour PM2.5).
Under the Clean Air Act, states are required to submit SIPs that satisfy the requirements of the Clean Air Act related to interstate transport of pollution. A state must address its significant contribution to nonattainment and its interference with maintenance of a NAAQS in any neighboring state. The Clean Air Act requires that states submit SIPs to meet the applicable requirements of the CAA within 3 years after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may provide.
On September 21, 2006, EPA promulgated a final rule establishing new standards for the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. At present, 29 states (including Illinois) or territories have not yet submitted complete SIPs to satisfy the nonattainment and maintenance transport requirements.
In its final rule, EPA made a finding of failure to submit these SIPs which creates a 2-year deadline for the promulgation of a Federal Implementation Plan by EPA unless, prior to that deadline, a state makes a submission to meet these two requirements of the Clean Air Act and EPA approves such submission.
Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.