November 9, 2021
Laura M. Crowder
Director, Division of Air Quality
W.V. Department of Environmental Protection
601 57th St. SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Re: Requesting Extension of Comment Period for West Virginia’s Regional Haze State Implementation Plan for the Second Implementation Period
Dear Ms. Crowder:
On behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Club, Appalachian Mountain Advocates, and West Virginia Rivers Coalition (Conservation Organizations), we request that the Division (“DAQ”) grant a 45-day extension on the public comment deadline for West Virginia’s Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (“SIP”) for the Second Implementation Period, currently noticed for public comment.1See public notice: https://dep.wv.gov/daq/publicnoticeandcomment/Documents/2022%20Regional%20Haze%20SI P/Public%20Notice%20- %20Virtual%20Regional%20Haze%20Public%20Comment%20Hearing%20Notice.pdf Specifically, we ask that the current deadline for comments be extended to January 20, 2022.
For review of the proposed SIP, DAQ has provided interested stakeholders with just 30 days to evaluate and provide comment regarding over two hundred pages of legal and technical analysis, as well as numerous appendices with VISTAS modeling information, air dispersion modeling data files, and so forth.2See West Virginia Proposed SIP and appendices athttps://dep.wv.gov/daq/publicnoticeandcomment/Pages/default.aspx Given the scope, volume, and complexity of this information, the Conservation Organizations believe that the current comment period is not sufficient to fully analyze the potential impacts of the proposed SIP and provide meaningful comment. Reviewing DAQ’s legal and technical analysis along with its modeling, conducting any necessary analysis, and developing comments will take more time than allowed by the current comment period, which ends on December 6, 2021.
An extension of time will not adversely impact any other party. Representatives of Conservation Organizations have been seeking opportunities to meet with DAQ on this rule for over 7 months in order to better understand DAQ’s plans and approach. Our groups need to have sufficient time to review the extensive proposal adequately and thoroughly, which we have not seen before now. A 45-day extension of the deadline will not prejudice any regulated entity and will not materially affect DAQ’s ability to submit its SIP to EPA within a reasonable time.
Conversely, given the scope and complexity of the proposed SIP, the current deadline for comments will effectively preclude the Conservation Organizations from reviewing all of the relevant technical data supporting the rule, fully analyzing those voluminous files, and providing meaningful legal and technical comments. Moreover, if finalized without our ability to give the proposal full due diligence, the proposed SIP could adversely affect the Conservation Organizations’ interests in pollution reduction and the environment, as well the health and welfare of our members and their use and enjoyment of protected national parks and wilderness areas.
We appreciate your considering this request and respectfully ask that you grant our request by Tuesday, November 16, 2021, so that we can plan comments most efficiently.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Director
National Parks Conservation Association
Appalachian Mountain Advocates
P.O. Box 507, Lewisburg, WV 24901
Philip A. Francis, Jr. Chair
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
2 Massachusetts Ave NE, Unit 77436
Washington, DC 20013
|James Kotcon Conservation Chair
Sierra Club, West Virginia Chapter PO Box 4142, Morgantown, WV 26504 firstname.lastname@example.org
Angie Rosser Executive Director
West Virginia Rivers Coalition
Perry Bryant Founder
West Virginia Climate Alliance email@example.com 304-344-1673
- 1See public notice: https://dep.wv.gov/daq/publicnoticeandcomment/Documents/2022%20Regional%20Haze%20SI P/Public%20Notice%20- %20Virtual%20Regional%20Haze%20Public%20Comment%20Hearing%20Notice.pdf
- 2See West Virginia Proposed SIP and appendices athttps://dep.wv.gov/daq/publicnoticeandcomment/Pages/default.aspx