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(a) Except for the Class I areas identified in 18 AAC 50.015(c) , the class of any geographical area of the state can be revised. This section sets out the procedures and criteria for revising an air quality classification.
(b) A geographic area that exceeds 10,000 acres and is one of the following may be classified only as Class I or Class II:
(1) a national park or national wilderness area established after August 7, 1977; or
(2) a national monument, national primitive area, national preserve, national recreation area, national wild and scenic river, national wildlife refuge or range, or a national lakeshore or seashore.
(c) The department will, on its own motion, or upon receipt of a petition under AS 44.62.220 , propose to change the air quality classification of a geographical area. The department will, in its discretion, combine or coordinate any public meetings or hearings conducted under (e) of this section with those conducted under AS 44.62.180 - 44.62.290. The department will make the report prepared under (d) of this section available to the public during the public comment period provided under AS 44.62.210 .
(d) Before proposing a change to a geographic air quality classification, the department will prepare, and a person submitting a petition under AS 44.62.220 must provide, a report that includes
(1) an accurate description of the boundaries of the geographic area for which the change in air quality classification is proposed;
(2) the classification in effect for the area and the proposed classification;
(3) a statement of the reasons why the change to the air quality classification is proposed and is in the public interest;
(4) a detailed evaluation of new emissions and ambient air quality impacts expected to occur in the area to be reclassified and in adjacent areas as a result of a modification to a stationary source in that area or from construction and operation of a new stationary source in that area
(A) for which a complete permit application under AS 46.14.160 is pending before the department at the time the report is prepared; or
(B) that has been proposed, would be subject to this chapter and AS 46.14.120 or 46.14.130, and could not be permitted under those provisions without a change in the air quality classification for the area;
(5) an evaluation of the effects on air quality in other geographic areas classified in 18 AAC 50.015(c) of any proposed new or modified stationary source in the area to be reclassified; and
(6) a detailed analysis of the health, environmental, economic, social, and energy effects of the proposed reclassification.
(e) Before the commissioner will adopt an amendment to 18 AAC 50.015(c) that changes the air quality classification of an area of the state,
(1) for any change,
(A) the federal administrator must have approved the change;
(B) the department must have conferred with the elected leadership of local and other substate general purpose governments in the area covered by the proposed redesignation;
(C) the department must have notified each affected federal land manager of the proposed change and provided at least 30 days to comment on the report described in (d) of this section;
(D) the department must have published in a newspaper of general circulation in the state a summary of the comments and recommendations of any affected federal land manager received under (B) of this paragraph and an explanation of the reasons for implementing a change that is inconsistent with the recommendations of the federal land manager; and
(E) the commissioner must have determined that
(i) the health, environmental, economic, social, and energy effects of the change are in the public interest;
(ii) implementing the change will not cause or contribute to a violation of the ambient air quality standards or maximum allowable increase;
(2) for any change to the classification of lands within the exterior boundary of a reservation of a federally-recognized Indian tribe, the governing body of the tribe must have approved the change; and
(3) for a reclassification of an area to Class III, the change must meet the applicable requirements of 42 U.S.C. 7474, adopted by reference as amended through December 19, 1996.
(f) In this section, "federal land manager" has the meaning given in 40 C.F.R. 51.166(b)(24), as revised as of July 1, 2003 and adopted by reference.
History: Eff. 1/18/97, Register 141; am 10/1/2004, Register 171
Authority: AS 44.62.210
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Last modified 7/05/2006