Regional Haze Program

In 1977, Congress added § 169 to the Clean Air Act (CAA), which set forth the following goal for restoring pristine conditions in national parks and wilderness areas:

Congress hereby declares as a national goal the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility in mandatory Class I Federal areas which impairment results from man-made air pollution.

In 1999, EPA promulgated the “Regional Haze Regulations: Final Rule” (also referred to as the Regional Haze Rule) to address the combined visibility effects of various pollution sources over a wide geographic region with the goal of achieving natural visibility conditions at designated Class I areas by 2064. This program requires all states, including those that do not have Class I areas to participate in planning, analysis, and emission control programs to comply with the Regional Haze Rule. States with Class I areas are required to conduct certain analyses to establish goals for each Class I area in the state to 1) improve visibility on the haziest days and 2) ensure no degradation occurs on the clearest days. These goals and long-term strategies to achieve these goals are to be included in state implementation plans (SIPs) covering each ten-year period leading up to 2064. Amendments to the Regional Haze Rule were finalized in 2005 and 2017.

Planning Period 1

Planning Period 2