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EPA Proposes to Approve Albuquerque Clean Air Plan

Release Date: 09/15/2011
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Joe Hubbard at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – Sept. 15, 2011) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has proposed to approve revisions to the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County, New Mexico State Implementation Plan (SIP) which ensures air quality standards are maintained by regulations of the Clean Air Act. The proposal takes action on the regulatory plan to establish emissions thresholds for new and modified stationary sources within Albuquerque/Bernalillo County in accordance with EPA’s Green House Gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule.

On December 15, 2010, New Mexico submitted its plan to focus on ensuring large emitter of GHG, such as power plants and cement production facilities, are planning to build new structures or make modifications to existing ones to obtain air permits. In spring of 2010, the EPA finalized the GHG Tailoring Rule, which specifies that beginning in 2011, projects that increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit.

Currently, New Mexico’s SIP includes these requirements for issuing air permit and the EPA is proposing approval of similar provisions for the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County construction program. Emissions from small sources, such as farms and restaurants, are not covered by these requirements.

EPA will continue to work closely and promptly with states to help them develop, submit and approve necessary revisions to enable proper issuance of air permits to GHG-emitting sources. Additionally, EPA will provide guidance and act as a resource for states as they make various required permitting decisions for GHG emissions.

EPA will accept comment on the proposal for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/jun2011.html

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