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Air Quality News

Posted on: January 7, 2020

Reminder: TCEQ Public Hearing on 179B SIP Revision February 18

This is a reminder that on Tuesday, February 18 at 2:00 PM, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will be hosting a public hearing for the proposed 179B Demonstration State Implementation Plan (SIP) Revision.  The public hearing will be held in AACOG’s Al J. Notzon III Board Room at 8700 Tesoro Drive, Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78217.  There will be an informal question and answer session beginning at 1:30 PM.

The purpose of this SIP Revision is to demonstrate that Bexar County would attain the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone by the required attainment date but for emissions emanating from outside the United States (Federal Clean Air Act, Section 179B).  The TCEQ used a “weight of evidence” approach in its demonstration, consisting of technical analyses, pollutant trends, literature review, and control measures.  If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves this SIP Revision, Bexar County would avoid being reclassified as moderate nonattainment and the additional federal regulations that come with it.

**PLEASE NOTE** that consistent with other TCEQ public hearings, there will not be a summary presentation of background information.  To view the SIP Revision and accompanying appendices, please visit the TCEQ’s San Antonio: Latest Ozone Planning Activities website.  In addition, the EPA has recently released draft guidance on conducting a 179B Demonstration.  The TCEQ presented preliminary findings from its 179B analysis at AACOG on September 26, 2019.  A live stream of that presentation is available here.  We recommend reviewing these resources before attending.  

What is a 179B demonstration?  The Federal Clean Air Act, §179B allows States “… to consider in their attainment plans and demonstrations whether an area might meet the ozone NAAQS by the attainment date ’but for’ emissions contributing to the area originating outside the U.S.” (80 FR 65444).  If the EPA approves the 179B demonstration SIP Revision for Bexar County, it may avoid a reclassification to moderate event if it does not meet the ozone standard by the September 24, 2021 attainment date.  

The public comment period will open on January 17, 2020 and close on February 19, 2020.  Please note that the public hearing occurs one day before the close of the public comment period.  Written comments will be accepted via mail, fax, or through the eComments system.  All comments should reference the “Bexar County 2015 Eight-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area FCAA, §179B Demonstration SIP Revision” and should reference Project Number 2019-106-SIP-NR.  Comments may be submitted to Brian Foster, MC 206, State Implementation Plan Team, Air Quality Division, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087 or faxed to (512) 239-6188.  If you choose to submit electronic comments, they must be submitted through the eComments system.  File size restrictions may apply to comments being submitted via the eComments system.  Comments must be received by February 19, 2020.  

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