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Adoption Process:
Air Quality Laws and Rules

Both State and federal laws govern the rulemaking process. There are federal requirements when changing a State Implementation Plan (SIP) and the rules that enforce it, and Utah requirements govern the process for all rules by state agencies. In addition, specific requirements for air quality rules are found in Utah Code 19-2.

The responsibility for air quality rules and SIP lies with the Air Quality Board (AQB). Utah Division of Air Quality (UDAQ) staff prepare drafts, and the AQB may reject, amend, or adopt as they find appropriate.

The need for an amendment in a rule may be identified by anyone—UDAQ staff, affected parties, individual citizens, etc. A request for an amendment may be submitted anytime following procedures outlined in R15-2. UDAQ staff draft a proposal that is circulated among managers and reviewed by the Attorney General’s office.

Steps Taken During the Rule Amendment Process

  1. The draft text of the rule amendment, along with a memo from UDAQ staff requesting that the Board propose the change for public comment, is included in the packet mailed to the AQB before the Board meeting.
  2. The agenda for the AQB meeting is published on the Utah Public Meeting Notice web page and is posted here.
  3. The Board may make changes before proposing the rule change for public comment.
    1. The proposal is filed with the Division of Administrative Rules (DAR), along with a rule analysis form that:
      • explains the need for the change,
      • describes the change, gives information about the costs to the public and government, and announces the close of the public comment period
    2. On the 1st and 15th of each month, DAR publishes the Bulletin, which includes the text of the rule and the information from the DAR rule analysis form. A proposal submitted to DAR by the 15th of the month will be published on the 1st of the following month. Publication in the Bulletin opens the comment period. The comment period lasts for a minimum of 30 days. The rule may become effective 38-120 days after its first publication in the Bulletin.
      • If the text of rule amendment exceeds the budgeted size of the Bulletin, DAR may choose not to publish the text of the change. Instead the explanation is published, and readers are encouraged to get a copy from the Administrative Rules Bulletin site.
      • Under Utah law, the SIP is incorporated by reference into Utah’s Administrative Rules. Thus the text of the proposed SIP is never published in the Bulletin. Therefore, DAQ staff prepares a thorough summary and explanation for publication in the Bulletin. Copies of the SIP text are made available to the public on DAQ’s webpage for rules and plans that are out for public comment, here.
    3. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the hearing is published in the Bulletin with the Rule Analysis Form. While not always the case, a notice of the public hearing is also often published in relevant newspapers.
    4. Copies of the proposed rule text, Board memos, and DAR Rule Analysis Forms are available on our Website.
  4. A link to our webpage that has links to the rules, memos, DAR forms, public comment period information, and other relevant documents, is emailed to the interested parties who sign up for our Notice of Utah Air Quality Rulemaking Actions listserve.
  5. During public hearings, sometimes a Board member acts as hearing officer; if not, a staff member does it. Copies of the proposal are available at the hearing. You can link here to “What to Expect at the Public Hearing.
  6. After the end of the comment period, UDAQ staff summarizes the oral and written comments received, composes responses to each, and drafts any appropriate changes to the proposal.
  7. The proposal is placed on the agenda for a meeting of the AQB, with a memo requesting that the Board adopt it. The proposal and the summary of comments and responses are mailed to the Board prior to the scheduled Board meeting.
  8. The Board may make changes before adopting the rule for final promulgation.
    1. If the rule is adopted by the Board in a form unchanged from the original proposal, UDAQ staff makes the rule effective within a few days.
    2. If the Board adopts the rule in a form different from that originally published in the Bulletin, the changes are filed with DAR along with a rule analysis form revising all the information originally filed. The revised rule text and explanation are published in the Bulletin again. The effective date must be at least the 30th day after publication in the Bulletin.
    3. If the Board does not adopt the proposed changes or a revision within 120 days after the proposal was first published in the Bulletin, the proposal lapses. Any further changes must start over with a new proposal.
  9. Once notice of an effective date on the rule amendment is received, DAR publishes the notice that the rule is now in effect in the Bulletin.

Contact Air Quality

For more information or questions contact Becky Close (bclose@utah.gov), (801) 536-4013.

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