REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS ON
DRAFT 5-YEAR REGIONAL HAZE PROGRESS REPORT FOR
FEDERAL IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
(Docket No. 17-CA-PA-06)
In accordance with 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §51.308(g) of the Regional Haze Rule (RHR), the Department of Health, State of Hawaii (DOH), is requesting public comments on the Draft 5-Year Regional Haze Progress Report for Hawaii’s Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) prior to submitting the report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The primary purpose of the RHR is to assure reasonable progress toward meeting the national goal of preventing any future, and remedying any existing, visibility impairment in Mandatory Federal Class I Areas from manmade pollution. Hawaii’s Mandatory Federal Class I Areas are Haleakala National Park on Maui Island and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island (Hawaii Island). The ultimate goal of the RHR is to achieve natural visibility conditions in Class I Areas by 2064.
The Regional Haze Progress Report summarizes progress towards improving visibility at Hawaii’s two (2) National Parks in accordance with the RHR. As indicated in the report, visibility has improved on the best and worst days at Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Also, over the first 2001-2018 planning period, Haleakala National Park reaches natural visibility conditions for the best visibility days.
Regional haze causes visibility impairment over a large region primarily from sources that emit fine particulate and its precursors into the air. Fine particulate that absorb and scatter light to cause the haze include sulfates, nitrates, organic carbon, elemental carbon, soil dust, and sea salt. Sources of particulate can be manmade (e.g., fuel oil combustion) or from natural events (e.g., Kilauea volcano).
Significant reductions in sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions have occurred during the first planning period. The SO2 and NOX react to form fine particulate (sulfates and nitrates) that cause haze and were pollutants of concern in Hawaii’s Regional Haze FIP. Emissions from large stationary sources on Maui and Hawaii Islands, where the National Parks are located, have reduced significantly as a result of clean energy programs implemented by the state to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
A majority of the visibility degradation is due to the ongoing release of SO2 from Kilauea volcano with emissions that vary by hundreds and thousands of tons from one year to another. Visibility improvement from significant reductions in SO2 from large stationary sources on Maui and Hawaii Island is obscured by sulfate from natural volcanic SO2 that overwhelms sulfate from anthropogenic SO2 sources.
The DOH has determined that control strategies in the existing Regional Haze FIP are adequate for Hawaii to meet the 2018 reasonable progress goals. In accordance with 40 CFR §51.308(h)(1), Hawaii is submitting a negative declaration that further revision of the Region Haze FIP is not needed at this time.
The Draft 5-YEAR REGIONAL HAZE PROGRESS REPORT, associated REGIONAL HAZE FIP, and FIP TECHNICAL SUPPORT DOCUMENT are available for public inspection during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at the following locations:
Clean Air Branch, Department of Health
919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 203, Honolulu, Oahu 96814
Hilo: Hawaii District Health Office, Department of Health
1582 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Kona: Sanitation Branch, Keakealani Building, Department of Health
79-1020 Haukapila Street, Room 115, Kona, Hawaii 96750
Maui District Health Office, Department of Health
54 High Street, Room 300, Wailuku, Maui 96793
Kauai District Health Office, Department of Health
3040 Umi Street, Lihue, Kauai 96766
All comments on the Draft Regional Haze Progress Report must be in writing, addressed to the Clean Air Branch at the above address on Oahu, and must be postmarked or received by August 31, 2017.
Any person may request a public hearing by submitting a written request at the above address on Oahu that explains the party’s interest and the reasons why a hearing is warranted. If requested by August 15, 2017, a notice for the hearing will be published at least thirty (30) days in advance of the hearing. If there is no request for a public hearing, we will post a cancellation notice on the Department of Health’s website at: http://health.hawaii.gov/cab/public-notices/.
Interested persons may obtain copies of the Regional Haze Progress Report and the associated Regional Haze FIP or parts thereof by paying five (5) cents per page copying costs. Please send written requests to the Oahu office of the CIean Air Branch listed above or call Mr. Michael Madsen at the Clean Air Branch in Honolulu at (808) 586-4200. An electronic copy of the Draft Regional Haze Progress Report, associated Regional Haze FIP, and FIP Technical Support Document may be found online at the Department of Health’s website.
Virginia Pressler, M.D
Director of Health