State Sovereignty for Air Quality and Visibility Act Exposed

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The State Sovereignty for Air Quality and Visibility Act was adopted by ALEC's Natural Resources Task Force at the Annual Meeting on August 8, 2002, approved by the ALEC Board of Directors in September, 2002. According to, the Act was re-approved by the Board of Directors on January 28, 2013. (Accessed on 7/23/2015).

ALEC Bill Text

Section 1. {Statement of Purpose}

As part of the State of {state}’s ongoing development and implementation of a long-term strategy in connection with visibility and air quality related values within class I areas, the Department ________ shall evaluate the extent to which the activities of the federal government are directly adversely impacting visibility and air quality related values within class I areas and make a determination whether such entities have taken or are taking all reasonable steps necessary to remedy that impact. At any time, the Department ________ may make, and a federal land manager shall respond to, reasonable requests for information necessary for the Department to perform such regulation.

Section 2.

For the purpose of addressing regional haze and visibility impairment in {state}’s mandatory class I federal areas;

(A) the federal land manager of each such area shall develop a plan for evaluating visibility in that area by visual observation or other appropriate monitoring technique approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and shall submit such plan for approval to the division for incorporation by the commission as part of the state implementation plan.

(B) Such submittal and compliance by the federal land managers shall be done in a manner and at a time so as to meet all present or future federal requirements for the protection of visibility in any mandatory class I federal area.

(C) Such plan shall only be approved by the commission if the expense of implementing such a plan is borne by the federal government.

Section 3. {Emission inventory}

(A) In addition to the plan submitted by each federal land manager pursuant to Section 2, the responsible federal land management agency shall provide an emission inventory to the commission of all federal land management activities in {state} or other states that result in the emission of criteria pollutants, including surrogates or precursors for such pollutants, that affect any mandatory class I federal area in {state} by reducing visibility in such an area. Such emission inventory shall be submitted to the commission no later than {effective date}, and no less frequently than every five years thereafter.

(B) The commission shall exempt from the inventory any sources or categories of sources that it determines to be of minor significance.

Section 4.

The commission shall adopt rules to fully implement the general assembly’s intention to exercise state powers to the maximum extent allowed under Section 118 of the federal act in requiring each federal land management agency with any presence in the state of {state} to develop and submit to the division an inventory of emissions from lands, wherever situated, which could have any effect on visibility within mandatory class I federal areas located in {state}. The commission and the division shall use the information from these emission inventories:

(A) To develop control strategies for reducing emissions within the state of {state} as a primary component of the visibility long-term strategies for inclusion in the state implementation plan;

(B) In any environmental impact statement or environmental assessment required to be performed under the federal “National Environmental Policy Act of 1969,” 42 U.S.C. secs. 4323 to 4347; and

(C) To exercise all powers and processes that exist to seek reduction in emissions outside the state of {state} that reduce visibility in the { State } mandatory class I federal areas.

Section 5. {Funding}

The cost of preparing and submitting inventories pursuant to Section 3 shall be borne by the federal government.

Section 6. {Sunset clause}

Section 7. {Repealer clause}

Section 8. {Effective date}

Adopted by the Natural Resources Task Force at the Annual Meeting on August 8, 2002.

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors September, 2002.