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EPA Proposes Federal Rule Change for Idaho’s Air Quality Protection Plan

Release Date: 04/29/2008
Contact Information: Doug Cole, EPA/Boise, 208-378-5764, cole.doug@epa.gov Donna Deneen, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-6706, deneen.donna@epa.gov Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

New rule would enable recent agricultural burning agreement to move forward

(Seattle, Washington - April 29, 2008) A rule proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would permit Idaho to modify its State Implementation Plan (SIP)* and allow for a resumption of agricultural field burning. The change was requested by Idaho Department of Environmental Quality in Boise.

If approved as proposed, this rule would allow agricultural burning in Idaho only if the burning is conducted in accordance with the State’s established rules. Under these rules, agricultural burning is not allowed without obtaining advance permission from IDEQ.

As part of the official request for EPA to approve this action, IDEQ needed to conduct a detailed analysis that demonstrated that the revised Plan satisfied federal Clean Air Act requirements. As explained in the federal register notice, EPA has evaluated the state submittal and proposes to approve it because it satisfies those requirements

According to Elin Miller, EPA Regional Administrator, the proposed changes are necessary to allow the agreement reached between Safe Air for Everyone (SAFE), agricultural representatives and the State of Idaho, to be recognized under federal law.

“We’re pleased that the State of Idaho and its negotiation partners were able to reach agreement regarding agricultural burning,” said EPA’s Miller. “We’re proposing to approve the State’s request and are inviting the public to comment on this proposal. Until the public participation process is complete, burning is still prohibited on non-tribal land.”

The proposed rule further explains that before granting approval to burn, IDEQ must consider a number of factors, such as the existing air quality in the area, the expected emissions from the proposed burn, the proximity of the proposed burn to other burns and to sensitive populations or areas like public roadways, and airports. IDEQ must also notify the public about the date of the burn, location, acreage and crop type prior to ignition.

The public is now invited to comment on the proposed rule for the next 30 days (April 29 – May 29, 2008). All comments must be received on or before May 29th, 2008.

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2008-0336, by one of the following methods:

1. ELECTRONICALLY – Go to: www.regulations.gov and follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments (under the “Comment or Submission” tab enter: EPA-R10-OAR-2008-0336). Or send comments to R10-Public_Comments@epa.gov.

2. SURFACE MAIL: Donna Deneen, EPA, Office of Air, Waste, and Toxics (AWT-107), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, Washington 98101

3. HAND DELIVERY: EPA, Region 10 Mailroom, 9th Floor, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101. Attention: Donna Deneen, Office of Air Waste, and Toxics (AWT-107). Such deliveries are only accepted during normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.


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*A SIP is a set of air quality rules that identify how a state will meet the national ambient air quality standards. Revisions to the SIP are submitted to EPA for review and approval. Once approved, the plan is federally enforceable under the Clean Air Act.

For the Federal Register Notice, go to:
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-9269.pdf

For more about EPA’s work protect air quality, go to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/AIRPAGE.NSF/webpage/Smoke+and+Air+Quality+Home