DALLAS (Legal Newsline) — The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the completion of a
process for a federally implemented clean air plan in Arkansas.
The plan aims to reduce
regional haze in Arkansas and Missouri, helping the states meet federal Clean
Air Act requirements. The announcement comes after months-long negotiations
between EPA and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).
Under the Clean Air Act,
states must make efforts toward achieving natural visibility conditions in
treasured wilderness areas. States have to submit plans on how they will
achieve these conditions, through reducing harmful emissions of nitrogen
oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. When state implementation plans
do not meet required standards, the EPA works with them to address the deficiencies.
The plan for Arkansas would reduce about
68,500 tons of SO2 emissions per year and 15,100 tons of NOx per year, which
should help protect the parks in the state from hazy conditions, while also
providing health and environmental benefits.
Specifically, the plan
should help provide better visibility for the Caney Creek Wilderness Area,
Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area, Hercules-Glades Wilderness Area and Mingo
National Wildlife Refuge.