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Inter-Regional Planning Organization
Fire and Smoke Technical and Policy Coordination Meeting

February 9 - 10, 2005
Austin Mariott · 2600 La Frontera Blvd · Round Rock, Texas 78681 · (512) 733-6868

Call-in participants: (312) 461-9324, use access code 915601.

Background:

The National Fire Emissions Technical Workshop of May 2004 established the precedent for the Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and land managers to compare their technical efforts with regard to addressing fire in the context of the Regional Haze Rule (RHR). That workshop has led to enhanced collaboration between the RPOs on addressing these technical needs including the subsequent release of the Inter-RPO 2002 Wildfire Emission Inventory Project contract where all five RPOs contributed funds for the effort.

During 2004, the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) formed the Air Quality Management Work Group (Work Group) to assess the recommendations made by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies in its 2004 report, Air Quality Management in the United States. Three key areas of concern (of five) for the NRC were the need for strengthening scientific and technical capacity, the expansion of national and multi-state control strategies and transforming the State Implementation Plan (SIP) process. These three areas represent both technical and policy aspects to improving air quality management. The Work Group recommended improving emissions inventories to provide for more effective planning for control strategies and to meet future air quality challenges through improving emission reporting, improving of emission estimation methods and quantifying uncertainty in emissions inventories and air quality modeling applications. The Work Group also recommended that a combination of local, regional, and national approaches is likely to be the most effective in addressing pollutants in a comprehensive and integrated fashion. Therefore, strong and timely regional and national approaches are needed to complement State and local controls to help the nation achieve rapid improvements in air quality. Another Work Group recommendation is that EPA guidance should be issued in sufficient time for States to meet their SIP deadlines. EPA should involve State, Local, Tribal and other appropriate parties in its guidance development process to help reduce implementation problems, resource expenditures, and litigation. The CAAAC advised that EPA, States, Locals, Tribes, and other stakeholders implement the recommendations in the report in the immediate future. Several of the recommendations are critical because of impending SIPs for ozone, PM2.5 and regional haze.

The entities that are to meet at this session are crucial to furthering the Work Group’s recommendations as they may relate to fire and air quality. Through the combining of resources, technical efforts and hopefully policy approaches for addressing fire, a more efficient strategy may be developed which will meet RHR and PM2.5 and Ozone SIP development needs as well as lay the groundwork for future long-term improvements in emission inventory and technical development needs.

Meeting Objectives:

To review scientific and technical approaches used in developing required fire emission inventories (2002, 2000-2004 Baseline and 2018) for Regional Haze and NAAQS SIPs. Fire sources to be reviewed will include wildfire, wildland fire use, prescribed fire on wildlands and agricultural burning. Identify differences in approaches as well as opportunities to collaborate and develop methods consistent across RPOs. Promote the sharing of inventory in formats that will allow multi-RPO modeling.

To support coordination among RPO’s, Federal Land Management Agencies and EPA in their development of tools, policies and guidance for addressing fire in the development of Regional Haze, PM2.5 and Ozone regulations and State Implementation Plans.

(RPO’s are encouraged to utilize their contractors for the Day One discussions where they may be most useful. Virtual presentations via speakerphone will be possible.)

Participants:

  • Regional Planning Organizations - CENRAP, WRAP, Midwest RPO, VISTAS, MANE-VU
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Fire/Air Issues Coordination Group - USFS, FWS, NPS, BIA, BLM, State Forestry
 
 
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