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Emissions Trading Alternative Proposed to Help Improve Visibility

Release Date: 07/21/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett, 202-564-4355 /

(7/21/05) Expanding upon the Clean Air Visibility Rule, EPA is proposing an emissions trading program to help state and tribal governments improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas. EPA's proposal outlines an alternative emissions trading program that gives flexibility for states or tribal government in ways to apply Best Alternative Retrofit Technology (BART). The BART requirements would be satisfied if the trading program meets or exceeds the visibility benefits resulting from BART.

The BART requirements of the Clean Air Visibility Rule apply to industrial facilities, built between 1962 and 1977, that emit air pollutants that reduce visibility by causing or contributing to regional haze. The Clean Air Visibility Rule, including the BART requirements finalized on June 15, 2005, will provide approximately $240 million annually in visibility improvements in southeastern and southwestern parks. The rule will also provide substantial health benefits in the range of $8.4 - $9.8 billion each year -- preventing an estimated 1,600 premature deaths, 2,200 non-fatal heart attacks, 960 hospital admissions, and more than 1 million lost school and work days. The total annual costs of this rule range from $1.4 to $1.5 billion. Today's proposal applies to an emissions trading alternative that states and tribes may use to improve visibility in specially protected areas.

The proposed emissions trading rule will be open for public comment for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. EPA will take final action on this issue by November, 2005. For information about EPA's regional haze program, this proposal and how to make public comment visit: