21 St. & Loc. L. News 1 (1997-1998)

handle is hein.journals/stlolane5 and id is 1 raw text is: /M    Section of State and Local Government Law

LOCAL LAW I/                                          Ii
The Section serves as a collegialforum for its members, the profession and the public to provide leadership and educational resources in
urban, state and local government law and policy.
Changes to the Clean Air Act Program
Affect State and Local Governments
By Julie R. Domike

Over the past year, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA' or Agency) and federal courts have
made decisions that may have a significant impact on
state and local governments.
Revisions to Air Quality Standards
Dominating developments under the Clean Air Act
(CAA) has been EPA's revision of the health-based air
quality standards for ozone and fine particulate matter,
colloquially referred to as smog and soot, respectively.
Proposed on December 13, 1996,1 the new air quality
standards were promulgated on July 18, 19972 following
voluminous comments submitted to EPA, intense public
debate, and strong congressional reaction to the propos-
als. The standards replace the current one-hour ozone
standard of 0.12 parts per million (ppm) with a new stan-
dard of 0.08 ppm averaged over eight hours. The partic-
ulate matter (PM) standard revises the primary PM10
standards by adding new requirements for fine particles
2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM2), the annual limit
for which is set at 15 micrograms per cubic meter. In
addition to the standards, EPA issued by rule an imple-
mentation plan for the new standards.3
The fate of the proposed rules was determined only
after President Clinton publicly endorsed the proposals,
with moderate changes, on June 25, 1997. The final fate
of these standards, however, is likely to be determined in
a different forum, on another schedule as Congress con-
siders legislation to reverse or delay implementation of
Julie R. Domike is of counsel with Piper
& Marbury L.L.P, based in the Wash-
ington, D. C. office. Her background
includes nine years practicing in EPAs
national office in the Air Enforcement
Division, three years of which she served
as the chi ef ofthe New Source Review,
Permits, andAir Toxics Branch.

the new standards by stand-alone legislation. Also, stake-
holders may challenge the standards or EPAs implemen-
tation of them in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia. The proposal triggered discussions
regarding the economic impacts of, and public health
need for, the more stringent standards. Among the issues
raised in these debates is whether EPA has gathered suf-
ficient health data to justify the tighter standards. EPA
proposed a new method for monitoring particulate mat-
ter as PM2.5 and will collect monitoring data to assess the
number of counties that exceed the new standard prior to
enforcing the new PM standard. Also debated is whether
projected national compliance costs attributable to meet-
ing the new standards will be outweighed by benefits
resulting from the higher protection afforded the health
of the young, the infirm, and the elderly.
Because data are not complete, accurate projections of
the costs and the benefits are not possible. EPA estimates
that the number of counties nationwide that violate the
air quality standards will double under the new ozone and
PM rules. Based on monitoring data from 1993-95, EPA
estimates that 280 counties in thirty-four states will not
meet the new ozone standard, compared to 106 counties
This issue sponsored by
the Environment Committee
Practice Tips o I) fending Actions IT Ivi1 Municipal Solid
Waste Landai11s, agc 3
Integrated Solid'a te Maugement: WliNyThought Leaders
Are Talki ng Trash, page5
Environ foental Updaze, page
Recent 1)Deel
Chairs Al, sge,
Legally Spak-ng  1
Supreme Court T1at    1
Washington' Labytithmc,   page 14
Index to Volume 20, page 19

Vol. 21, No. 1, Fall 1997

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