To protect public health, the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C Section 7401) requires that federal standards be set to limit the maximum levels of pollutants in the outdoor air. Each state is responsible for developing plans to demonstrate how those standards will be achieved, maintained, and enforced. These plans make up the state implementation plan. The plans and rules associated with them are enforced by the State, and, after federal approval, they are also federally enforceable. These plans are the framework for each state’s program to protect the air.
In areas where the air quality has improved to the point that the National Ambient Air Quality Standards are no longer exceeded, the implementation plan remains in effect and a maintenance plan is prepared to demonstrate how the air will be kept clean for the next twenty years or longer. These maintenance plans also become part of the SIP.
You can access Utah’s SIP the following ways:
Nonattainment and Maintenance Area information
- Air Pollutants and Trend Information
- CO (Carbon Monoxide)
- Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5)
- S02 (Sulfur Oxide)
The Clean Air Act of 1970 required the establishment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect the public health and welfare. In response to that requirement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated NAAQS for seven pollutants: total suspended particulate, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and lead. The Act also required each State to prepare and submit a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to attain, maintain, and enforce the NAAQS.
Utah’s SIP was submitted in January 1972; EPA evaluated the plan and, in accordance with requirements in the Clean Air Act, adopted Federally prepared replacement sections for those few portions of the Utah SIP which were deemed inadequate. When the projected attainment dates arrived, most ambient pollutant concentrations had been reduced; however, the reductions were insufficient to meet the NAAQS. For particulate matter, no apparent reduction was noted. The SIP was insufficient to accomplish the task. In the meantime, the Air Conservation Committee recognizing that fact, began to develop a revised program in 1976.
Because there were many areas in the nation where the NAAQS had not been attained, the Congress amended the Clean Air Act and thus triggered a new, concerted effort to achieve those public health and welfare related standards. Each State was required to identify its nonattainment areas (areas shown by monitored [measured] data or calculated by air quality modeling to exceed any NAAQS) and to revise its SIP to attain and maintain the NAAQS in those areas. This plan is revised to achieve those goals by December 31, 1982 for particulate matter and carbon monoxide and to show adoption of reasonably available control technology for hydrocarbon sources in an effort to attain the ozone standards. At a later date it will be necessary to again revise the ozone portion of the SIP to show attainment of the NAAQS by December 31, 1987. A Program to inspect motor vehicles and require maintenance on failed vehicles will be undertaken by Salt Lake and Davis Counties.
The Air Conservation Committee, Department of Health staff members, and members of the Attorney General’s staff have prepared much of the revised SIP. For the transportation related pollutants, agencies representing the local elected officials in the problem areas have prepared the traffic control measures of the SIP. Those agencies are the Wasatch Front Regional Council and the Mountainlands Association of Governments. Their expertise and cooperation have been and will continue to be vital in the planning process.
SIP Foundation Sections
The following sections of the State Implementation Plan were written and approved by EPA in the 1980s. They are implemented by administrative rules which are updated regularly and submitted for EPA approval, though the text of the plans has not been changed.
For more information or questions contact Mark Berger (801) 536-0076.