February 26, 2015
US EPA Region 5 has announced a recent community outreach initiative to help make a visible difference in several Midwestern communities. EPA is focusing on Alton/East Alton, IL, I-55 Corridor from Chicago to SW suburbs, SE Chicago, and the
Kenosha/Racine community according to a January 28, 2015 report from Trinity Consultants.
Environmental justice factors, such as racial and minority populations, economic data, and factors demonstrating an area as environmentally-burdened, were all considered in the choice of these four communities.
Additionally, these areas have a distinct density of stationary sources and active community groups.
While this initiative is not a result of US EPA finding any deficiency in the local air permitting programs, it may result in a higher likelihood of US EPA draft permit review in some communities. US EPA will also look for opportunities to identify emissions reductions and create “better, tighter” air permits in these four communities, although the initiative does not give US EPA additional authority to act outside of the normal public comment process.
Given limited US EPA resources for inspection programs, sources in one of these four (4) communities are more likely to be inspected by US EPA than sources outside these areas. US EPA Region 5 has also shared that there are no immediate plans to increase the number of communities included in this initiative.
What this means to you
It’s likely EPA will look for opportunities to identify emissions reductions and create “better, tighter” air permits in these four Region 5 communities. Stationary sources in these four communities are more likely to be inspected than sources outside these areas.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to discuss emission solutions for EPA Region 5 stationary sources.