The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) has prepared what it describes as a:
. . .2016 Retrospective Report describing the state of air quality in Arkansas during the past decade.
The 35-page report includes trends observed in air quality data for certain “outdoor” pollutants such as:
- Particulate Matter
- Carbon Monoxide
- Nitrogen Dioxide
- Sulfur Dioxide
ADEQ has been delegated the various federal Clean Air Act programs for many years. Therefore the agency has been the primary source of program implementation and enforcement in the State. In other words, despite the fact that the United States Environmental Protection Agency promulgates the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, the State of Arkansas is responsible for the attainment and maintenance of such standards. This is accomplished for criteria air pollutants by the development and implementation of State Implementation Plans.
The report concludes that air quality in Arkansas “is excellent and continues to improve.” The referenced improvements are deemed “largely attributable to implementation of state and federal programs developed under the authority of the Clean Air Act. . .”. The cited improvements are deemed significant in view of the increases in gross domestic product, population, and vehicle miles traveled during the relevant time period.
Besides identifying various statistics associated with the Clean Air Act pollutants, the report also discusses ADEQ Office of Air Quality permitting/enforcement statistics. For example, the report notes:
- Significant reduction in permit backlog: ranked 5th in the nation for clearing the backlog of Title V permit renewals
- Performed 794 inspections, investigated 490 complaints, and reviewed 620 stack tests during the federal fiscal year 2016
The report includes a number of figures and charts such as:
- Locations of facilities with active minor or Title V air permits
- Arkansas Ambient Air Monitoring Network
- Various figures for criteria air pollutant emissions
- Reasonable progress assessments for certain wilderness areas
- State of the Air in Arkansas Fact Sheet
- State of the Air in Arkansas Report
- State of the Air in Arkansas Slide Show