Buffalo River 

ADEQ Public Hearing on Regional Haze Program

  • 14 Aug 2017
  • 2:00 PM
  • ADEQ Headquarters, Commission Room 5301 Northshore Drive North Little Rock

This program affects air quality in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness area.

ADEQ is proposing revisions to certain disapproved portions of the Arkansas Regional Haze SIP. This SIP revision replaces source-specific NOx BART determinations included in the 2008 Arkansas Regional Haze SIP, as well as limits promulgated under the 2016 FIP, with reliance on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule emissions trading program as an alternative to BART for Arkansas BART-eligible fossil fuel-fired electric generating units as allowed under 40 C.F.R. 308(e)(4). Other disapproved portions of the 2008 Arkansas Regional Haze SIP, will be addressed in a separate submission.

ADEQ will accept written and electronic comments received no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday August 14, 2017. Written comments should be mailed to Tricia Treece, Office of Air Quality, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118. Electronic comments should be sent to: treecep@adeq.state.ar.us.

ADEQ will hold a public hearing on August 14, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Room on the first floor of ADEQ headquarters located at 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, Arkansas. In the event of inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, a decision may be made to postpone the hearing. If the hearing is postponed or rescheduled, a new legal notice will be published to announce the details of the new hearing date and comment period.

Regional Haze Program Information

E&E News-July 25, 2017


Over the objections of environmental groups, U.S. EPA, Arkansas regulators and electricity companies are asking a federal appeals court for more time to reach a deal in litigation over a pollution-reduction plan for coal-fired power plants.

In a joint status report filed late yesterday, attorneys for EPA, the state, Entergy Corp. and other power producers asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to continue to hold the consolidated lawsuits in abeyance until Sept. 26.

Since the last status updates, "further progress has been made that is likely to significantly narrow, and may entirely moot, the claims in this litigation," they wrote. By Sept. 26, the parties "should have a better understanding of whether settlement and/or administrative actions are likely to narrow this case," the filing added.

Opposed are the National Parks Conservation Association and Sierra ClubA regional haze plan for Arkansas is now more than a decade overdue, lawyers for the two groups wrote in a separate report.

Instead of further delays, they said, the litigation should proceed in tandem with settlement talks, given the amount of time already spent in negotiations and "the harm caused by the pollution addressed by the challenged rule."

The regional haze rule, published last September after EPA partially rejected a state alternative, is intended to eventually cut yearly power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by 68,500 and 15,100 tons, respectively, and provide clearer air in several wilderness areas and wildlife refuges in Arkansas and Missouri.

But Entergy says its share of the cleanup bill will amount to more than $2 billion, while Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) has alleged that the plan could imperil the reliability of the state's electric grid.

Around the country, the regional haze program is supposed to restore unsullied views to 156 national parks and wilderness areas by 2064.

Under the Obama administration, EPA used the program to press for stricter controls on older coal-fired power plants. With the Trump administration now touting the need for "cooperative federalism," the agency this month proposed giving three Arkansas plants another 18 months to meet the NOx reduction requirements (Greenwire, July 12).

The 8th Circuit had initially frozen legal proceedings in March after EPA expressed interest in reaching a settlement; the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is meanwhile pursuing its own plan to replace parts of last year's federal rule.

That approach "is likely to lead to further litigation," the two environmental groups said in yesterday's filing. They had previously called for ending the litigation stay last month (Greenwire, June 12).

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