EPA again hits IDEM
January 24, 2009
By Gitte Laasby
Post-Tribune staff writer
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has still not submitted its plan to reduce regional haze in the country's national parks. The plan was due more than a year ago.
If IDEM?doesn't submit its plan within the next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will have to formulate the plan instead. For now, EPA?is threatening to put Indiana on official notice in the Federal Register.
The EPA's?Regional Haze Rule from 1999 aims to improve visibility in 156 national parks and wilderness areas, such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. The rule requires states to develop and implement air quality protection plans to reduce the pollution that causes the haze.
Indiana isn't close to any of the parks EPA is concerned about, but IDEM?spokesman Rob Elstro said emissions from Indiana are transported there.
The EPA sent a letter to IDEM on Jan. 14, saying IDEM has not formally completed the public comment process for its plan or submitted limits on the best available technology that the most polluting facilities can install to control emissions.
"The letter we received wasn't unexpected. Indiana is one of 37 other states that are also in that situation. We are working with EPA?to submit the plan fully," Elstro said.
Part of the delay is that the plan involves making rules to flesh out details of the law.
See IDEM's plan at www.in.gov/idem/5795.htm
Read more about regional haze on IDEM's Web site at www.in.gov/idem/4499.htm