The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the State of Arkansas’ program for permitting new and modified facilities that emit significant amounts of greenhouse gas pollution (GHG) into the air. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) worked closely with EPA to develop a state program to replace the existing federal program and submitted it for EPA review in November.
Arkansas’ authority to issue air permits for new or modified GHG pollution sources will become effective in April, just four months after the EPA’s proposed approval of the program. Arkansas is the first state in the Region to replace a federal implementation plan with their own State program, which will eliminate the need for businesses to seek air permits from two separate regulatory agencies. This action will increase efficiency and allow for industry to continue to grow in Arkansas.
"Business and communities benefit when environmental regulators are effective and efficient in doing their job," said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. "We look forward to working with our partners at ADEQ as we continue to address our common goal of protecting people and the environment. I am especially pleased to recognize Director Marks and her team for this important accomplishment."
“This is an important step forward for our agency and the state. This gets us back to a one-stop permitting shop, allowing businesses requesting air permits to take their entire application to one agency and for us to review the complete package,” said the Director of ADEQ, Teresa Marks. “We have worked toward this goal for several years and appreciate the cooperation of EPA in the process.”
EPA believes states are best equipped to run GHG air permitting programs, and the EPA will now rescind the federal program for GHG permitting in Arkansas. Arkansas serves as a model for other states in developing state-lead GHG permitting programs and successfully collaborating with EPA on the review and approval for issuing GHG air permits.
More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html