3.0 Regional Planning
In 1999, EPA and affected States and Tribes agreed to create five Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs) to facilitate interstate coordination on Regional Haze SIP/TIPs. The State of New York is a member of the Mid-Atlantic / Northeast Visibility Union (MANE-VU) RPO. Members of MANE-VU are listed in Table 3-1 below.
Table 3-1 - MANE-VU RPO Member
District of Columbia
New Hampshire National Park Service*
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency*
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service*
U.S. Forest Service*
* Non-voting members
New York's Regional Haze SIP utilizes data analysis, modeling results and other technical support documents prepared for MANE-VU members. By coordinating with MANE-VU and other RPOs, New York State has worked to ensure that its long term strategy, control measures and BART determinations provide sufficient reductions to mitigate impacts of sources from New York State in affected Class I areas.
Since its inception on July 24, 2001, MANE-VU has established an active committee structure to address both technical and non-technical issues related to regional haze. The primary committees are the Technical Support Committee (TSC), charged with assessing the nature and magnitude of the regional haze problem within MANE-VU, interpreting the results of technical work, and reporting on such work to the MANE-VU Board; and the Communications Committee which is charged with developing approaches to inform the public about the regional haze problem in the region and making any recommendations to the MANE-VU Board to facilitate that goal. The Communications Committee has become an effective means to develop outreach tools both for stakeholders and the public regarding regional issues within MANE-VU's member states. Ultimately, policy decisions are made by the MANE-VU Board. In addition to the formal working committees, there are also three standing working groups of the TSC. They are broken down by topic area: Emissions Inventory, Modeling, and Monitoring/Data Analysis Workgroups.
MANE-VU has also established a Policy Advisory Group to facilitate communication with Federal Land Managers, between the Technical and Communications Committees, and with MANE-VU staff. The Policy Advisory Group provides advice to decision-makers on policy questions.
MANE-VU's work is managed by the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) and carried out by the OTC, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA) and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). The states, along with federal agencies and professional staff from OTC, MARAMA and NESCAUM, are members of the various committees and workgroups.
The following are highlights of many of the ways MANE-VU member states and tribes have cooperatively addressed regional haze, most of which New York State has participated in.
- Budget Prioritization: MANE-VU developed a process to coordinate MARAMA, OTC and NESCAUM staff in developing budget priorities, project rankings, and the eventual federal grant requests.
- Issue Coordination: MANE-VU established a set conference call and meeting schedule for each of its committees and workgroups. In addition, its Air Directors regularly discuss pertinent issues.
- SIP Policy and Planning: MANE-VU has initiated a process to track the key milestones needed for SIP development and developed a SIP template with the assistance of MANE-VU states/tribes.
- Capacity Building: To educate its staff and members, MANE-VU included technical presentations on conference calls and organized workshops with nationally recognized experts. Presentations on data analysis, BART work, inventory topics, modeling, control measures etc. were an effective education and coordination tool.
- Routine Operations: MANE-VU staff at OTC, MARAMA and NESCAUM established routine operations to address the following topics: budget, grant deliverables/ due dates, workgroup meetings, inter-RPO feedback, haze rule development, etc.