On February 18, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) proposed to grant the State of Wisconsin's request to re-designate the Milwaukee-Racine fine particle (PM2.5) nonattainment area to attainment for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). In doing so, the USEPA is also proposing to approve the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision which contains the State's plan to maintain the NAAQS through 2025 as well as approve the proposed state inventories for ammonia, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, direct PM2.5, and sulfur dioxide submitted by the state to meet Clean Air Act requirements.

This pending USEPA approval is open for comment until March 20th; however, the USEPA has stated it does not expect this approval to go to a second open comment period. When approval is finalized, as is expected, facilities in Milwaukee, Racine, and Waukesha counties may begin to see a reduced burden from pollution offset requirements and new source review (NSR) permitting complexity. This reduced complexity stands to potentially decrease permitting costs, streamline the permitting process, decrease agency action times, and allow new facility construction or projects that previously may not have been allowed to be permitted. For questions on how this may affect your facility, please contact Alex Mentzer at Trinity Consultants at (651) 275-9900 ext. 8 or via email at amentzer@trinityconsultants.com.