Iowa DNR requests comments from Muscatine County citizens and businesses on EPA proposal to des
Posted: 02/08/2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recommended that Muscatine County be designated “Nonattainment” for the 1-hour sulfur dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). This recommendation is based on EPA’s consideration of data measured at the SO2 monitor located at Musser Park in Muscatine for the period 2008 through 2010, as well as the most recent measured data from 2009 through 2011. 

EPA has given the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) until April 8, 2013, to provide EPA with additional information for consideration prior to EPA finalizing the nonattainment recommendation. Therefore, the IDNR is requesting that Muscatine county residents and businesses send any comments and technical input on EPA’s recommendation to the IDNR by March 15, 2013, to allow the agency an opportunity to consider the comments. 

EPA also plans to publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing a 30-day period for the public to provide input on EPA's preliminary designation recommendation. Muscatine county residents and businesses are encouraged to provide comments to both IDNR and EPA.

EPA intends to finalize the nonattainment designations by June, 2013.

On June 3, 2010, the EPA strengthened the health-based or "primary" standard for SO2 by establishing a NAAQS for 1-hour average SO2 concentrations at a level of 75 parts per billion. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to complete the initial designations process within two years of promulgating a new or revised standard. If the EPA Administrator has insufficient information to make these designations, the EPA has the authority to extend the designation process by up to one year. On July 27, 2012, the EPA announced that it had insufficient information to complete the designations for the 1-hour SO2 standard within two years and extended the designations deadline to June 3, 2013. Additional technical background regarding EPA’s recommendation can be obtained at http://www.epa.gov/so2designations/region7r.html.

Please contact Jim McGraw at 515-242-5167 or jim.mcgraw@dnr.iowa.gov if you have questions or need additional information.