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Opportunity for Public Comment on the Draft Regional Haze Plan

  • 2/13/2023 9:38:00 AM
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The DNR invites the public to provide comment on a proposed revision to Iowa’s state implementation plan (SIP) to address the second 10-year planning period (2019-2028) of the federal regional haze rule. This comment opportunity also includes two proposed air construction permitting actions that establish plan requirements for new emissions reductions. The draft regional haze plan further provides a 5-year progress report to close out the first 10-year planning period (2009-2018).

DNR’s draft regional haze plan contains an evaluation of Iowa facilities that may contribute to visibility impairment in Class I areas and subsequent analyses of possible control measures. The DNR proposes to require operational improvements to existing control equipment at MidAmerican Energy Company’s Louisa Generating Station (LGS) and Walter Scott Jr. Energy Center – Unit 3 (WSEC-3). The improvements would permanently reduce the combined SO2 emissions from these sources by approximately 9,700 tons per year. Implementation would begin later this year, as specified in draft permits 05-A-031-P6 and 75-A-357-P9 for LGS and WSEC-3, respectively. Find copies of the draft permits in Appendix E to the draft plan.

The public comment period for the draft plan and draft permits starts on February 13, 2023. All written comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on March 16, 2023. Direct written comments to Matthew Johnson, Department of Natural Resources, Wallace State Office Building, 502 East 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-0034; or by email to matthew.johnson@dnr.iowa.gov.

DNR will hold a public hearing for oral comments on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. The public hearing will be held virtually and accessible by video conference or by telephone.

Find the draft plan, the draft permits, and learn how to participate in the public hearing through the DNR’s Air Quality Public Participation webpage at https://www.iowadnr.gov/airpublicinput. Look in the Public Input section under “Regional Haze Plan Available for Public Comment.” To view copies of the materials at the Wallace State Office Building, please contact Matthew Johnson at the email address above or by phone at (515) 725-9554 to setup a viewing time.

In accordance with 42 U.S.C. §7491(d), the Federal Land Managers (FLMs) have already reviewed the draft plan and draft permits and this notice includes a summary of their conclusions and recommendations. In general, the FLMs provided positive comments regarding the plan’s content, organization, technical analyses, and the DNR’s consultation efforts. The FLMs also provided recommendations where they saw opportunities to expand the number of Iowa sources evaluated and the potential for additional emissions reductions. See the draft plan and Appendix F for the DNR’s full responses and copies of the FLM comment letters.

DNR will summarize and respond to public comments after the close of the public comment period and will include the responsiveness summary in the final regional haze plan. DNR will submit the final plan and all associated appendices, including the final permits, to EPA as a revision to Iowa’s SIP.

Individuals with disabilities or limited English proficiency are encouraged to participate in all DNR activities, including submitting public comments. If a reasonable accommodation or language services are needed to participate, contact the Air Quality Bureau staff member listed or Relay Iowa TTY Service at 800-735-7942 in advance to advise them of your specific needs. DNR’s language access and disability nondiscrimination plans are available at https://www.iowadnr.gov/About-DNR/Environmental-Justice.

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