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Feedback on air quality plan wanted by state

The Washington Department of Ecology is asking for public input on an update to the state’s implementation plan for meeting air quality standards.

The state has revised parts of its general air pollution regulation (Chapter 173-400 of the Washington Administrative Code) in recent years and now proposes to submit all adopted changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for in-

clusion in the state’s implementation plan.

The EPA will review the submittal and determine whether or not to approve the changes.

The most significant difference from the current version of the plan is in the “new source” review program for potential new pollution sources.

The regulations currently list facilities and industries required to apply for a permit. If a facility or industry is not on the list, the facility or industry is exempt from permitting.

The revised regulations no longer list facilities that need a permit. They now list facilities and industries that are exempt. All facilities not on the list must apply for a permit.

The newly proposed regulations also streamline the process for issuing an approval to an industry and create a process that issues permits for portable sources of potential pollution.

The revised regulations also update areas of the state permitting requirements to meet federal standards. If the EPA approves the new standards, the state will have its own authority instead of being designated to issue permits under the federal program in those areas.

People can review the proposed plan and related documents on the department’s website at http://www.ecy.wa.gov under the air quality program standards and plans.

Meetings may also be held by local air quality agencies. A statewide public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 11, starting at 6 p.m. in the department’s headquarters at 300 Desmond Drive Southeast in Lacey.

Written comments can be submitted through Friday, Sept. 20. To send a comment, email AQcomments@ecy.wa.gov or send a written letter to Anya Caudill, Washington Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

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