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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-315


Proposed Revision to the State Implementation Plan for Ozone for the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley Ozone Nonattainment Area

[33 Pa.B. 1014]

Proposed Revision to Maintenance Plan;
Public Hearing

   Ground-level ozone concentrations above the Federal health-based standard are a serious human health threat and can also cause damage to crops, forests and wildlife. Since October 2001, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) redesignated the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties) to ''attainment'' with the 1-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) (66 Fed. Reg. 53094). As part of that determination, a 10-year maintenance plan (Plan) is in place to ensure the area continues to maintain the 1-hour ozone standard.

   The Sierra Club and the Group Against Smog and Pollution, Inc., represented by the Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund (Earth Justice), challenged the EPA's Beaver Valley area redesignation to attainment of the 1-hour ozone standard in the 3rd Circuit United States Court of Appeals. The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance subsequently intervened in this case in support of the EPA's decision. On January 22, 2003, the United States Department of Justice and Earth Justice signed a settlement agreement including terms and conditions requiring the Commonwealth to amend the contingency measures portion of the Plan. The revised maintenance plan must be submitted to the EPA for approval as a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision.

   The Department is seeking public comment on the proposed revisions to the Plan which identifies additional measures the Commonwealth would take in the event of exceedances of the 1-hour ozone standard, in accordance with the procedures of the Air Pollution Control Act (35 P. S. §§ 4001--4015) and other relevant State statutes, to ensure that the Pittsburgh area maintains the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. Those additional measures include incorporating transportation control measures into the SIP if the measures offer a quantifiable ozone reduction benefit; increasing rule effectiveness of Stage II controls at gasoline stations to control volatile organic compound emissions; the convening of a stakeholder group to recommend additional measures; and proposing additional control measures to attain and maintain the ozone NAAQS in the area.

   This proposal is available on the Department website at (choose Information by Subject/Air Quality/Ozone/Clean Air Plans) or through the contact persons listed.

   The Department will hold a public hearing to receive comments on the SIP revision on Wednesday, March 26, 2003, at 1 p.m. at the offices of the Southwest Regional Office, Allegheny Room, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4745. The Southwest Regional Office is located at Washington's Landing beneath the 31st Bridge along State Route 28. Persons wishing to present testimony at the hearing should contact Connie Cross, P. O. Box 8468, Harrisburg, PA 17105, (717) 787-9495 to reserve a time. Persons who do not reserve a time will be able to testify as time allows. Witnesses should keep testimony to 10 minutes and should provide two written copies at the hearing. Persons with a disability who wish to attend the hearing and require an auxiliary aid, service or other accommodation to participate in the proceeding should contact Wick Havens, (717) 787-9495. TDD users may contact the AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 to discuss how the Department can best accommodate their needs.

   Written comments should be sent by March 28, 2003, to Wick Havens, Chief, Division of Air Resource Management, Bureau of Air Quality, P. O. Box 8468, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8468.

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-315. Filed for public inspection February 21, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]

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