RD361 - Air Quality and Air Pollution Control Policies of the Commonwealth of Virginia – October 2020
1. Executive Summary
This report was prepared by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on behalf of the State Air Pollution Control Board (SAPCB) for the Governor and General Assembly pursuant to § 10.1-1307 H of the Code of Virginia. This report details the status of Virginia's air quality, provides an overview of the air division programs, and briefly summarizes federal and state air quality programs.
1.1. Air Quality in the Commonwealth
Air quality in Virginia continues to improve. Ambient concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone in Virginia met United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in 2019. Ambient concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) near an emissions source located in Kimballton, Virginia, (Giles County) showed violations of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. DEQ is working with this facility to further reduce their SO2 emissions and develop an attainment plan.
1.2. Air Quality Policies in the Commonwealth
Policy initiatives affecting Virginia in the near future include a new Regional Haze analysis, 2015 ozone NAAQS Good Neighbor provisions under the Clean Air Act (CAA), federal actions to update the 2015 ozone NAAQS and the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, and regulatory changes stemming from the South Coast Air Quality Management District v. EPA decision.(*1) Other significant policy efforts include the implementation of Virginia’s Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries (State Trust Agreement) that took effect October 2, 2017, in the case, In Re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation. Additionally, Virginia is joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) pursuant to the Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act (2020 Acts of Assembly ch. 1219 & 1280). RGGI is a market-based cap-and-trade program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants from the power sector.
1.3. Summary of Annual Air Division Activities